Being an elite high jumper, a two-time world champion, and an Olympic medalist, Mutaz Barshim has set the bar very high in this track & field sportive discipline. To be all of the above requires commitment and dedication on several fronts, two traits that Barshim never failed to show throughout his sportive career. More recently in early 2020, Barshim embarked on his journey towards one of his biggest milestones, attaining the world title at the big games.
He continues with his quest for the gold medal, one training camp after the other. After the mountain training he took us through in the first chapter of his docu-series “Jump for Gold” in Zakopane, Poland, we now fly back with Mutaz to his hometown Doha for the pre-2020 season training camp. As Mutaz narrates his own story in chapter two of the docu-series, we discover what Qatar means to him and how being in his hometown impacts him positively on a physical, mental, and emotional level. Dated back in early March 2020, pre the COVID - 19 outbreak, what makes this training camp extra special? To Mutaz, it’s being at “Home”. “We are in Doha, Qatar, and that’s home…”.
From his training sessions and daily routine to a walk down memory lane at the Khalifa Stadium, being in Doha with his crowd and people fuels Mutaz. “I would take it way back to the Khalifa Stadium at the start of my athletic career. I spent a lot of time at this stadium and I had always promised myself that one day I will compete here on a world stage,” Mutaz adds as he reminisces about the day he won the world title for the 2nd time in a row in 2019 in Doha.
“The home support, my people are the real champions who lift me up that day and made me come back stronger and achieve the best title here in my hometown” he expresses. Qatar gives Mutaz the perfect setting to prepare for any competitive season. “Just the idea that here in Doha is where it all began, where I took my first steps, it means a lot. Every street, building, and corner has a sentimental value to me.”
With each training camp, Mutaz is taking one step forward towards the one gold medal that is still missing from his collection. Being in Doha takes a positive toll on Mutaz not only emotionally but also elevates the level of his physical training. As the 2nd training camp in his journey towards Tokyo, the sessions in Doha advanced to more intense and dynamic ones to start catching up with some high jumps later in spring 2020.
“My training schedule consists of two sessions a day, speed workout in the morning at the outdoor field in Al Sadd Sports Club to strength and gym sessions in the evening at the indoor Gym and Outdoor Warm Up track at Aspire Academy.”
Focusing on the end goal and bigger picture of success drives Mutaz forward and makes him adapt to all what the training requires. What matters most to Mutaz is to be ready for the big challenge he was set to take on in 2020. With every training camp comes a set of learnings for Mutaz and his coach and techniques that need improvement.
Commenting on the series release, Mutaz Barshim says: ’’It’s great to hear all the positive feedback from the people who watched the 1st chapter and enjoyed the story,”. As he deep-dives further into his world in chapter 2, Mutaz is set to unveil new sides he shares for the first time about his life in his hometown Doha. Composed of 5 chapters, “Jump for Gold” will take the viewer on a virtual journey with Mutaz to each training camp held in a different country and how each has its own impact on him physically, mentally and emotionally.
The docu-series has launched in partnership with Red Bull and full episodes are available to watch on https://www.redbull.com/mea-en/projects/mutaz-barshim-jump-for-gold
The upcoming chapters will unveil more stories from Mutaz on how the COVID-19 Outbreak started having a toll on the world and impacting him personally and on a professional level, moving on to his return back to the new normal late 2020/early 2021.
Written by Red Bull Qatar, copy edited by ILQ staff
Cover image by Red Bull Qatar
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