25 Mar 2021
Aspire Academy graduate Ali Turki is representing Qatar at the FIE Fencing Grand Prix 2021 Doha. The tournament is one of the qualifiers for Tokyo Olympic games to be held in July this year. The top 16 fencers will secure tickets for Tokyo but after his preparations were severely disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic, Ali Turki says he will use the Doha tournament to gauge and get ready for the other Tokyo Olympic qualifier , the Zonal Qualifier to be held next month in Uzbekistan.
“I really want to compete well on home soil but its been a bit of a tricky situation whereby l wasn’t able to continue training with the British team and also not able to come back home so you can imagine how disruptive that has been but l am excited to be competing this week. Once this tournament was confirmed, l flew back to Qatar and for past 3 weeks been training hard here at Aspire. It’s great that when the world fencing governing board , FIE was looking for a venue to host the qualifiers they found a suitable one in Qatar, our very own Aspire Dome and for us Aspire graduates and student -athletes competing this weekend, we are immensely proud and we want to do well on home soil. My fellow Aspire fencers, the younger guys who are still student-athletes will be using this competition to fine tune and prepare for the forthcoming World Junior Championships to be held next month in Egypt. As for me my target is really the Zonal qualifier in Uzbekistan and l will use Doha Grand Prix to get a feel of my readiness after not competing for a year”, said Ali Turki
The Doha Grand Prix 2021 competition has generated huge interest from around the world and has seen a large entry application of participating countries. The USA, Japan and Russia are leading the contingents with 35 representatives each and from Arab region a ten-member delegation from Egypt, three from Tunisia and one each from Morocco and Algeria will be in attendance. Hosts Qatar will be represented by eight athletes (four male and four females), all of whom train and are prepared at Aspire Academy. Aspire graduates and current student-athletes involved are - Ali Turki, Abdullah Ismail, Khaled Aref, Hussein Al-Mutawa, and Faisal Al-Suwaidi while Amira Boujbara, Lina Al Buainain, Ghraiba Dhahi, and Rana Ibrahim are competing women.
Top fencers in Doha this weekend include the world's top-three ranked women - Inna Deriglazova of Russia, Italy's Alice Volpi and her compatriot Elisa Di Francisca. For the men, Italy's Alessio Foconi, Enzo Lefort from France and USA's Gerek Meinhardt will be headlining the star cast that, includes the world's top-14 fencers.
Fencing Grand Prix 2021 Doha Schedule
Day 1: March 26 (Friday) – Full Day Men Poules, T128 to T64
Day 2: March 27 (Saturday) – Full Day Women Poules, T128 to T64
Day 3: March 28 (Sunday) – T64 to Quarter Final
– 6 PM onwards- Men & Women Semi-Finals & Finals