02 Sep 2021
Doha. Aspire Academy doors have remained open during summer, with familiar sounds of pounding feet on the track, squash balls bouncing off the wall and the pitter-patter of the table tennis ball echoing in the Aspire Dome as Aspire athletes trained. For the Aspire graduates and student athletes across many sporting disciplines, after a short break, normal service of training and competition resumed at home in Qatar and abroad.
In early August, student athletes returned to Aspire for training in sprints, jumps, fencing and squash. In summer times of punishing heat and humidity the coaches and athletes fully appreciated and put to good use the ultra modern cooling system of Aspire Dome. The training camps were no just at home in Qatar but training camps took place in Europe for table-tennis, athletics in preparation for Tokyo Olympics, Table Tennis Arab Championships and the U-20 World Athletics Championships.
The hard work in training certainly paid off with 9 Aspire boys, graduates and student athletes contributing to the distinguished results in the TT Arab Championship for teams and clubs held in in Jordan (10-16 August 2021). The Qatari Table -Tennis team finished second in the general ranking of the combined Arab Championship for teams and clubs that was held in Amman Jordan after winning 19 medals, including 4 gold medals in the team, singles, and doubles competition.
Qatar Olympic Committee sent fifteen athletes to represent the country in seven different sports at the Tokyo 2020 Games this summer and four of them were Aspire Academy graduates. Mutaz Barshim, Ashraf Elseify, Abubaker Hayder and Musab Ali continuing the legacy of an Aspire presence at the biggest sporting stage on the planet that begun at London 2012 Olympic Games. Mutaz went into this summer’s Tokyo Games as Qatar’s first double Olympic medal winner following his bronze in London and silver in Rio and the “Billion Riyal” question was could he complete the perfect trio and win gold and the Aspire graduate lived up to the billing clinching the gold medal.
Aspire Academy student-athletes and graduates lined up in the U-20 World Athletics Championships held this summer in Nairobi, Kenya (17- 22 August 2021) and went on to produce competitive performances which will serve our athletes with top level experience gained amongst other positives. Aspire student athlete Saeed Al-Absi was excellent through the heats in the 110m hurdles going all the way to qualify for the final where he narrowly missed out on bronze medal, taking a credible 4th place. Both Mahamat Khalid (100m) and ElHafiz Mahadi (800m) performed well and managed to reach the semi-finals and but couldn’t get any further. Mahamat Khaled and Nayef Al Rashidi made up the Qatar 4 x 100m relay team which was their first ever participation in this event by the Qataris at World Junior championships. Meanwhile the Qatar national swimming team that included Aspire Academy graduates and student-athletes won the title of the youth groups in the Gulf Cooperation Council Championship The 28th Gulf Water Games held in Doha (19-22 August 2021). Student-athletes, Kareem Salama (U15-U17 age group), Said Al Burchaid (U-13-U14) and Abdulla Elgamry (U-13-U14) each won 3 golds in races ranging from freestyle, butterfly and backstroke. Qatar national swimming team finished second from the 6 GCC countries that competed at Hamad Aquatics Center.