23 Aug 2022
Eight Aspire Academy graduates are packing medals in their suitcases as they return from the Covid-19 -delayed 2021 Islamic Solidarity Games in Konya, Turkey.
There were five individual medallists in athletics, including two golds, while three graduates made up the Qatar team that won bronze in the men’s team foil event in fencing.
Bassem Hemeida, who is now studying and competing for West Texas A&M in the USA, continued his comeback from an injury in 2021 to win gold in the men’s 400m hurdles.
Unfortunately for Hemeida due to a timing issue at the venue the time he was given, which was a championship record, personal best and World Championship qualifying time will not be recognised.
There was also gold for two-time Olympian Abubaker Haider Abdallah in the men’s 800m.
The third medal on the track was a bronze for Musab Ali in the men’s 3,000m steeple chase.
Ali, who represented Qatar in the 1500m at the Olympics in Tokyo last year, looked set for the gold medal but made a mistake at the last barrier and recovered to claim third spot.
There were two silver medals in throwing events as former under-20 world champion Moaaz Ibrahim set a new personal best of 61.35m in the discus, with Qatari record holder Ahmed Magour second in the javelin.
In fencing graduates Ali Al Wajhan, Khaled Aref and Abdullah Khalifa made up the men’s foil team as they won bronze in Konya.
Several of our current student-athletes were also in action but were unable to claim medals; 17-year-old Oumar Doudai Abakar and Saeed Alabsi in the 110m hurdles and Yousef Abouelela in the swimming pool.
On his return to Qatar Aspire graduate Ibrahim visited the academy and said finishing his season on a high with a silver medal and personal best from the Islamic Solidarity Games in Turkey is the perfect start for next season.
Next season is set to be an incredibly busy one for athletes with the indoor as well as outdoor World and Asian Championships taking place.
It was a second personal best (PB) of the season for the former unde-20 world champion as he returned from injury.
“I set a new personal best twice this year after five years of no PB - so it's a huge thing for me,” the 23-year-old said.
“I went to the competition, and it didn't matter for me like gold, silver, bronze or no medal what mattered for me was that I did my best.”
“Now we are into the off season and preseason training begins in October – so for now just relax, enjoy and forget about discus throw for a bit of time.”
“The result in Turkey means I can this time I'm starting from where I ended and not from the very beginning – so that’s going to be good.”
“Next season has lots and lots of very important competitions - so I need to prepare myself for that.”
Ibrahim added that competing against some top athletes at events like the Islamic Solidarity Games motivates him to continue improving.
“I was competing with the silver medallist in London 2012 Ehsan Haddadi from Iran and some other good names and that means I feel motivated, I feel pushed,” he explained.
“These guys are top level athletes and do competing with them is a very good thing and it keeps you on fire the entire competition.
“You really want to show everybody that you are capable of competing with these guys.”