Qatar’s swimming and handball stars to compete on day 2

 07 Aug 2016 - 11:49

Qatar’s swimming and handball stars to compete on day 2
Noah Al Khulaifi


Swimmer Al-Khulaifi makes Olympic debut in Rio as Handball team prepare for showdown with first match against Croatia

 

Rio de Janeiro: The second day of competition at the Rio 2016 Olympics will see Team Qatar’s athletes compete across swimming, handball, boxing and beach volleyball.
For Qatar sports fans all eyes will be on young swimming sensation Noah Al-Khulaifi who will make his Olympic debut on Sunday in the 100m backstroke. The seventeen year old and second youngest on the Qatar team already holds a massive fourteen GCC records and seeks to set a further personal and national record in Rio.
Speaking ahead of the biggest day of his career so far, up and coming swimming talent Al-Khulaifi said: “Up until now I haven’t really grasped the magnitude of being in the Olympics but I’m trying not to let the pressure of the occasion get to me. However it is very special to be here and part of this. Being at the athletes village hasn’t blown my mind but it’s filled with superstars I didn’t really expect to see such legends all walking around like normal people. From NBA stars who seem about 7ft tall to Michael Phelps who I saw in the pool, which for me is just like ‘wow’. It’s not something you see every day so I’m not used to that side of things but I’m concentrating hard and feel focused for my race.
“In terms of what I want to achieve for this Olympics I’m looking to develop my own personal growth and experience because I’m still only seventeen years old. Honestly I’m trying to keep myself grounded and set best times and national records. I see this as a really good stepping stone for the future and future Olympics and Qatar swimming as a whole.”  
After a hugely impressive second place finish in the World Handball Championships hosted in Doha in 2015, the Qatar Handball team will enter the games with great hopes, expectations and local interest.
The team won the hearts of the nation in reaching the final of the Handball World Championships but the Olympics is another step up as Qatar’s team captain Abdulrazzaq Ahmed Murad commented: “For Team Qatar this is everyone’s dream. Soon our dream will become a reality. We dream of winning a medal. But it will be a tough challenge. After our performance in the World Championships all nations are wary of us. They know we are a force to be reckoned with but we’re prepared for that! We will do all we can and leave the rest to God.
After enjoying a tour of Qatar Olympic Committee’s hospitality house, Bayt Qatar at Casa Daros which was designed to welcome people from around the world to share Qatar’s unique culture, its warm hospitality and passion for the Olympic Movement Murad added: “I feel like I’m in Doha in Rio. The place is indescribable and everything looks amazing – it’s like a museum, but they’ve brought our own Doha museum here to Brazil! It’s makes you feel proud and its special that we can share with the people of Rio.

“Ahead of our first match against Croatia, an important game, we hope our fans pray for us and support us as we compete. Please support and follow us in Rio through the #YallaQatar campaign on social media.”
The Peninsula