The Qatar Olympic Committee (QOC) announced today a 252-strong team that will compete in the upcoming 17th Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea from 19th September to 4th October. This marks the eleventh time Qatar has participated in the Games, having competed in every edition since 1978.
The athletes that make up Team Qatar have qualified to compete across 22 disciplines including Athletics, Shooting, Equestrian, Swimming, Sailing, Fencing and Squash.
The delegation includes Qatari Olympic heroes, Mutaz Barshim, who recently became the second-highest jumper in history, and is just millimeters away from the high jump World Record of 2.45m, and Nasser al-Attiyah who continues to shine in skeet shooting.
Ahead of his departure to Incheon, Mutaz Barshim said:
“The Asian Games holds a place in my heart as I won one of my first senior titles at the 2010 Games in Guangzhou. This year’s Asian Games comes at the end of a fantastic high jump season for me and I can’t wait to get out there and try to end it on a high. It is always an honour to represent Qatar in international events like the Asian Games and I am looking forward to sharing the experience with the rest of Team Qatar.”
Team Qatar also includes rising sporting stars such as swimmer Waleed Daloul who set a new national record in the 100m breaststroke at the recent Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China and Ashraf Elseify, who heads to Incheon after defending his hammer throw title at the World Junior Athletics Championships in Eugene only a month ago.
Sheikh Saoud bin Abdulrahman Al Thani - Secretary General of QOC and Head of QOC Delegation, said: “We are proud of all our athletes that are part of Team Qatar. They have shown tireless dedication to their sports over recent months and we believe that their training on home soil in Doha, will have given them the best possible preparation for the competition that lies ahead.”
“We are confident that our athletes will continue to build on Qatar’s successful history at the Asian Games and will reflect Qatar’s commitment and dedication to sporting excellence.” the Secretary General added.
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.
An estimated 13,000 athletes and team officials from 45 National Olympic Committees will take part in the Games, which will consist of 439 events in 36 sports and disciplines and will see Team Qatar up against world-class athletes.
The team’s Chef de Mission, Khaleel Al-Jaber, said: “Our athletes have performed exceptionally well throughout all competitions this year and I am sure they will carry their inspirational performances through to the Asian Games. This year’s delegation combines our established talents such as Barshim and rising stars like Elseify, and embodies the present and future of Qatari sporting talent.”
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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