Talented Qatari rider Bassam Mohamed, along with teammates Nasser Ghazalijahromi, Sheikh Khalid Ali al-Thani, and Khalid al-Emadi, clinched gold in the team show jumping event on Sunday at the 14th edition of the Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea.
An estimated 13,000 athletes and team officials from 45 National Olympic Committees are taking part in the Games, which consists of 439 events in 36 sports and disciplines. Mohamed is part of the 252-strong Team Qatar that are competing in 22 disciplines including athletics, swimming, sailing, fencing and squash.
Mohamed and his teammates excelled above the competition in a show of elite sportsmanship by clearing the obstacles with supreme control and grace, and without registering a single penalty point. The Qatari riders secured the gold medal ahead of Saudi Arabia, who claimed silver, and Japan who took home the bronze.
Speaking after his fantastic performance, Mohamed said:
“Competing in such a high-profile, international sports event is amazing, but to take home the gold – that is such an indescribable feeling. I am incredibly honored to represent Qatar and to make my country, family and friends proud. I would not have been able to reach where I am today without their support.”
The 27-year-old rider has had a stunning season so far. He is currently ranked sixth worldwide in the esteemed Longines Global Champions Tour - which will hold its last event in Doha - after delivering an immaculate performance in the Monaco meet in which he outperformed the best of the show jumping world, a first for Qatar.
Mohamed and the rest of Team Qatar’s riders gave Qatar its fifth gold medal of the Asian Games, adding to the country’s medal tally of 10. Qatar won gold in the Men’s 5,000m, 1,500m, 100m, High Jump, 3,000m Steeplechase, Double Trap event, individual 25m Center Fire Pistol, and bronze in the Women’s team 10m Running Target and in High Jump.
Secretary General of the Qatar Equestrian Federation, Khalid Bin Safar Al Hajri said: “I give my sincerest congratulations to Bassem, Khalid, Nasser and Sheikh Khalid for performing wonderfully and making Qatar proud. They are exemplary athletes and are a perfect indicator of how Qatar has managed to draw on its sporting history in equestrianism to excel in the modern sporting world.”
Qatar won its first medal ever in the 1982 Asian Games in Delhi, India and has built an impressive track record since, taking home 93 medals in just nine Games. In 2006, Doha hosted a spectacular edition of the Asian Games and grabbed the ninth spot on the overall medal table with 32 medals in varying disciplines.
Organized by the Olympic Council of Asia, the Asian Games are held every four years since 1951 and are considered the second largest multi-sport event after the Olympic Games. The Asian Games follow the same sport programme as the Olympics, with additional disciplines such as Sepakatraw, Kabaddi, and Wushu, which reflect the sporting culture of the region.
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