Doha. 25 October 2018. Aspire Dome provided the set-up of the 48th FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Championships, the first such event to be held in the Middle East on the event’s opening on Thursday 25 October morning. Two Aspire graduates, Ahmed Mosa and Ahmed Al Dayani are representing Qatar and participated on the opening day in the fifth subdivision of men’s qualification.
Aspire Academy Deputy Director of Education & Student Affairs who is also President of Qatar Gymnastics Federation and Executive Director of the Organising Committee Ali al Hitmi in his speech paid tribute to the Amir His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al Thani for his guidance and interest in sport, which is an integral part of Qatar's National Vision 2030.
Welcoming the gymnasts and officials from various countries, Hitmi said, "Hosting this prestigious event in Qatar has given us the opportunity to take gymnastics to new heights in our country and to drive the passion for the sport among our communities. It expands gymnastics' reach and encourages even more Qatari residents to become involved in it, either as participants or as spectators,"
The International Gymnastics Federation President Morinari Watanabe, who was dressed in the traditional Qatari 'thobe', in his speech said, "Qatar Gymnastics Federation has made a wonderful garden in the middle of the desert. For ten days from today, with the power of our gymnasts, we'll see the beautiful and strong flowers [of gymnastics] bloom at the Aspire Dome. I wish all gymnasts good luck." Before declaring the championship was officially open. Speaking after his participation, Ahmed Al Dayani said, “It was a great and yet surreal feeling walking onto to compete at Aspire Dome a very familiar place to me, but l was equally excited to be performing in World Championship at home. I think l performed well to some extent. There were some mistakes, but the last time I performed on all six apparatus was in Glasgow three years ago (2015 Worlds). On some apparatus I performed much better than in previous World Championships. Many of my friends and family members were among the crowd tonight. That made me a little bit nervous, but the experience that I gained from previous international events helped me. It was a historic moment for Ahmed Mosa and l to represent Qatar on such a high stage in our own backyard, Aspire Dome.”
The younger of the two Aspire graduates, Ahmed Nabil Mosa said after run, “It’s only my second appearance in the World Championships and there was a little bit more pressure, with the home support and the fact that I was competing in the same place I train. I expected to perform better than l did this evening. I made some mistakes, but I still performed better than last year in Canada (2017 Worlds in Montreal) said Mosa. It was an honour flying the Qatar and Aspire Academy flag alongside Ahmed Al Dayani in the same team. Al Dayani is an experienced gymnast and I learn many things from him. He is my idol and like a big brother to me.
A Chinese acrobatic team entertained the audience attending the opening ceremony.
The artistic gymnastics worlds is flagship event of FIG and will see over 600 gymnasts from 76 countries, including three Team Qatar.