Qatar’s Javelin Thrower “Iron Arm” Budair aims for London 2017 medal

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Team Qatar’s javelin thrower Ahmed Budair has wasted no time since his first ever senior participation - the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. The 21-year-old - who became the first Qatari to ever take part in the Olympic Javelin competition - has hit the ground running, qualifying to the 2017 World Championships in Athletics in London after topping the competition in the 16th GCC Athletics Championship in April.

Budair, who was the youngest competitor in his discipline in Rio 2016, has kept himself equally busy this year. Pushing himself in a two-month long training camp in Finland, competing in Arab and Asian championships, and taking part in the Diamond League series for the first time ever in his home town Doha in May and in Monaco this Friday has kept him on track for London.

The javelin thrower’s latest competition saw him snag the silver medal in the 16th Asian Athletics Championships in India held earlier this month. Commenting on the Asian Championships Bedeir said:

“It was really good experience. Competing in one of the strongest Asian Championships ever and leaving with a silver medal, it really gave me a lot more confidence in my performance,” he added, “That was the first time I had ever competed in the Asian Athletics Championships, so although I wanted gold I’m still very happy with my performance.”

Budair is a graduate of Qatar’s Aspire Academy - a world-class sport and educational establishment based in Doha whose alumni include two-time Olympic medallist high jumper Mutaz Barshim, as well as two-time Junior World Champion and Olympian Ashraf Elseify. His stand-out performance, Budair explains, is the culmination of his experience in Aspire Academy, his intensive training, and his talented coach, Esa Utriainen, who was a former champion javelin thrower for Finland.

Speaking ahead of his competition in London 2017, Budair added:

“Communication with your coach is the most important thing - I speak about everything with him. Coach Esa is incredible - he has a personal best of over 90 metres,” the young Olympian said, adding, “Every day we try something new to help me develop as an athlete - progress in javelin takes time and patience.”

Never one to rest on his laurels, Budair trains twice a day from 10am to 12:30pm and from 4pm to 6:30pm – alternating cycles between weight training, throwing, and speed training:

“One of the hardest things about the javelin throw is improving yourself. One meter can take you years – not just one or two years, but five or more. Javelin needs speed, strength and flexibility so in a sense it’s a mixture of many disciplines.”       

Budair’s gruelling training and competition schedule, which he juggles alongside his education at Qatar University, is to prepare him for the London 2017 World Championships in Athletics. Commenting on his upcoming participation in London 2017, he said:

“A big part of my preparation for the World Championships in Athletics in London was to compete as many times as possible before it, while still giving myself time to rest to avoid any possibility of injury,” he added, “My biggest competition in London will definitely be the German team – they have many talented javelin throwers.”

Despite his young age, Budair has high hopes for the World Championships in Athletics: “My goal for London is to reach the final. Once I get there, anything is possible.”

The World Championships in Athletics will take place in London from 4th-13th August 2017 and will see over 1900 athletes from over 200 countries around the world take part. Team Qatar will be represented by Ahmed Budair, two-time Olympic medallist high jumper Mutaz Barshim, hammer throw champion Ashraf Elseify, among other star athletes.