Nanjing: After the opening ceremony yesterday, table tennis player Abdulrahman Mohsen and swimmer Waleed Daloul will lead the charge for Qatar at the second Youth Olympic Games, which kick off in Nanjing today.
Apart from the men’s singles event, Mohsen is also participating in the mixed doubles event where he will team up with Uzbek player Regina Kim.
Today Mohsen will start his men’s singles campaign. He has been placed in Group H and will take on eighth seed Tomislav Pucar of Croatia, Hong Kong’s Hung Ka Tak and Swede Eliia Ranefeur.
Although the table tennis player is placed in a tough group with strong players, Mohsen is upbeat and hopes this will help bring out his best — Mohsen’s coach Zlatko Novakovic said.
“He has been drawn in a strong group but he is saying he is getting a big lift being in the Youth Olympics. An opportunity to play on the highest platform of the age group competition would surely drive him to put up a big show,” Novakovic said.
“He is getting better and the experience of playing in Nanjing will certainly go a long way in shaping his future. His first job is to focus on the singles group league and then he will play with the Uzbek player in the mixed event.
“After monitoring his progress, I’m confident that he will try as hard as he can to qualify for the next stage,” said the table tennis coach.
Swimmer Daloul has been entered in two events — the 50m and 100m breaststroke. Today, he will take part in the 100m breaststroke heats. His 50m event is scheduled on August 21.
Shooting coach Tatsiana from Belarus also expressed optimism about Abdullah Zain Al Sunaidi’s cahnces.
In the Asian championship held in Kuwait earlier this year, Sunaidi had finished third and secured a place in the second Youth Olympic Games squad through minimum qualifying score (MQS). The Qatari shooter will take part in the 10m air rifle individual and mixed contests.
“Sunaidi is a cool and confident shooter. He is rising fast and I feel he is more than ready for the event in the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing,” said his coach.
“His preparations have been quite extensive and I’m quite hopeful that he will shoot very well in the competition. The Qatar Shooting and Archery Federation has taken good care of his training and now it is time for him to turn that into good results,” Tatsiana said.
The men’s artistic gymnastics qualification will also be held today, followed by the women’s preliminaries tomorrow. Qatar’s Rahma Al Dulaimi will be in action. Camelia Selariu, whose two trainees had qualified for the first Youth Olympic Games in Singapore, had organised a training camp for Dulaimi in Shanghai.
“Dulaimi seems quite satisfied with the workout at the camp. The Youth Olympics offer a big stage and I’m sure she will grab the chance to impress us all.” Selariu added.