Doha : Qatar’s Mutaz Essa Barshim, the reigning world indoor champion in high jump and Olympic bronze medalist, is aiming to improve his IAAF Diamond League meeting record in the season opener of the 14-stop series here on Friday.
Mutaz feels ready for the big challenge against world’s top high jumpers at Qatar Sports Club, and he is absolutely sure the 2.33 meeting record will fall.
“I will definitely jump in Rome and then at meetings in Poland. I am looking forward to this season with so many athletes capable of jumping really high,” Mutaz said, about his next goals.
The London Games bronze medal winner took part in a photo shoot at the historic Souq Waqif along with hurdlers David Oliver and Ryan Wilson of the US and Olympic 400m silver medallist Luguelín Santos of the Dominican Republic.
Souq Waqif is one of the landmark places in the heart of Doha. The old market with the traditional stores where guests may find clothes, food products, perfumes, jewellers, souvenirs, even pets, but also places to chill pout, enjoy Middle Eastern food and of course sheesha.
During a relaxing visit to one of Qatar’s most visited tourist attractions, the athletes browsed at the gold souq, met shop keepers, tourists, mounted policemen and even a traffic officers who all happily obliged when asked to pose for pictures.
Oliver, the 2013 world champion, is no stranger to Doha. He set the meeting record of 12.95 in 2008.
“It’s great to be back here,” said the 32-year-old, who also captured Olympic bronze in 2008. “I ran sub thirteen here for the first time so I have great memories from Doha. It’s a beautiful place to visit, too.” Wilson, the silver medallist at last year’s world championships, is eagerly anticipating his Doha Diamond League debut.
“It’s a strong competition and a strong field, I’m really looking forward to it,” the 33-year-old Californian said.