Clockwise from top left: SHEIKH ALI at Rio 2016; MUTAZ ESSA BARSHIM wins Olympic silver; FARES ELBAKH finishes 8th; ASHRAF ELSEIFY competes in the hammer throw final; and HERIF YOUNOUSSE competes in the Qatar Open FIVB 2016.
Qatar's Olympic Team of 38 athletes, participating in 10 sports, was led by the acclaimed equestrian team member and showjumper Sheikh Ali Khalid Al Thani who was also bestowed the honour of being the nation's flag-bearer by the Qatar Olympic Committee at the opening ceremony of Rio Olympics 2016. The social media campaign #YallaQatar managed to create quite the buzz before and during the games.
After several days of waiting, high jumper Mutaz Essa Barshim made history by becoming the first ever athlete from Qatar to claim a silver medal at an Olympic Games. The 25-year-old from Doha cleared 2.36 metres to cement his place on the podium. The London 2012 bronze medallist has written himself into Qatar's sporting history once again following his 2014 World Indoor silver medal and also achieving the second highest jump in history with 2.43 m. Speaking after his competition, he said: "It was a difficult final – every technical error made a difference, plus there were 15 athletes in the final which is quite a large number. I have a lot to be thankful for during my sporting journey – I've set a world record, I've won Olympic medals but the most important thing is to set a plan with the coach and work towards it. The world record and the Olympic gold medal are both goals for me." Speaking about Barshimís momentous achievement, President of the Qatar Olympic Committee, HE Sheikh Joaan Bin Hamad Al Thani, said: "This is the biggest achievement in Qatar's Olympic history and we are so proud of him. We know that he will have inspired a new generation of sporting heroes and connected new audiences to Olympic sport.”
Qatar Olympic Committee's hospitality house Bayt Qatar, in Casa Daros, also attracted a lot of attention during the games. It was designed to welcome people from around the world to experience Qatar's unique culture, its warm hospitality and passion for the Olympic movement. At the centre of the house was an outdoor Souq, which incorporated traditional activities, including Arabic calligraphy, basket weaving and henna hand painting, regular live music performances, and a large screen showing live Olympic action and film screenings for all. It was also the hub of exciting campaigns like the one that arranged for street children from the favelas of Rio to play football with national heroes like Cafu and Zico