17 Aug 2023
Bassem Hemeida and Moaaz Ibrahim are set to become the latest Aspire Academy graduates to represent Qatar in individual events at the World Athletics Championships, Budapest, Hungary 19 -27 August 2023, as they further boost their reputation and their statuses as role models.
The duo have been named by the Qatar Athletics Federation (QAF) to represent the nation in Hungary alongside reigning high jump world champion Mutaz Barshim.
Hemeida, who has been preparing for the championships in Spain, will take part in the 400m hurdles while Ibrahim is set to compete in the discus.
The trio’s qualification for the World Championships in Hungary is further testimony to the foundations laid at Aspire Academy and to the world-class talent that Qatar can produce.
“We are confident that more athletes will follow in the footsteps of these champions and make Qatar proud,” Aspire Academy’s Athletics Head coach Tom Crick stresses.
“We are proud to see our motto “Aspire Today, Inspire Tomorrow" turn into reality.”
23-year-old Bassem Hemeida qualified for the World Championships by winning gold for Qatar at July’s Asian Athletics Championships in Thailand.
His new personal best in the final saw him not only qualify for Hungary but also the 2024 Paris Olympics.
It means that Aspire graduates have competed for Qatar at every World Championships since 2011, with Mutaz Essa Barshim taking part in all six editions since then and winning three gold medals and a silver.
Tom Crick stressed the importance of the Qatari duo’s qualification and its positive impact on the current Aspire student-athletes.
“It is important that our current student-athletes understand what is possible with hard work and dedication,” Aspire Academy’s Head Athletics coach Tom Crick explained.
“They have all seen Mutaz, Moaaz and Bassem in the graduation photos. They’ve watched them train on the Aspire track with the Qatar Athletics Federation (QAF).”
“But when they see them on TV or social media in front of huge crowds, they appreciate what an honour it is to be a world-class athlete and represent Qatar.”
A new generation
“Bassem only graduated in 2020, so a lot of our athletes still remember him training in Aspire. Some are now training with his old coach Lee Christopher, and it gives them confidence that if Bassem can do it maybe they can too?”
“It was fantastic to see Bassem’s win at the Asian Athletics Championships in Bangkok which was a testament to the work of his coach Massimo Matrone and the entire QAF support team. ”
"At 23 Bassem is entering the peak years of his career. The experience of running at the World Championships will be invaluable ahead of the 2024 Paris Olympics."
Hemeida’s gold at the Asian Athletics Championships was his third gold medal of the summer after winning both the Arab Athletics Championships in Morocco and the Arab Games in Algeria.
While it will be Hemeida’s first appearance at the World Championships in an individual event he did compete at the 2019 edition as part of Qatar’s 4x400m relay team.
Barshim looks to raise the bar
“Mutaz is one of the greatest of all time and the only high jumper to ever defend a World title. If he can secure a fourth consecutive World Championship gold it will be truly remarkable,” Crick added.
“He has jumped close to 2.25m in training at Aspire recently and his world-leading 2.36m in Poland, beating both Olympic Champion Tamberi and Germany’s number 3 ranked Potye, shows he is in fantastic shape.”