THE GREATEST - Qatar Olympic Committee

THE GREATEST - Qatar Olympic Committee

THE GREATEST - Qatar Olympic Committee


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ISSUE 18 JULY 2012 $10















Enjoy Latino festive table in the heart of Doha!



5 In Focus

Sporting life through a lens


8 Global Sports Update

Insight from around the world

13 Lord Sebastian Coe

Inspired by the Olympic spirit

16 Coming up

Your essential sports event guide

18 Qatar in London

Team Qatar gets set for the Games


22 Golden Memories

The Top 10 greatest Olympic moments

26 Leaders

Opinion from Hassan Al Mohammadi and Kevin Roberts

29 Ultimate Olympians

Phelps, Redgrave and Lewis in the frame



34 For the Record

Milestones in Olympic history

36 Trends

TV coverage of London 2012

No article in this publication or part thereof may be reproduced without proper permission and

full acknowledgement of the source: Qatar Sport, a publication of the Qatar Olympic Committee.

© Qatar Olympic Committee, 2012.



Designed and produced for the Qatar Olympic Committee by SportBusiness Group, London.

Cover photo: Action Images


With the London 2012 Olympic Games just around the corner, everybody involved in sport in Qatar is looking

forward immensely to taking part in what promises to be not just a tremendous celebration of world-class sport

but a fantastic festival of culture and humanity.

No matter which country we call home and no matter which culture we have been raised in, the Olympic Games

continue to unite the world through sport and constantly demonstrate the very best of being a human being.

We will be welcoming guests to Qatar House in London. It will be at the Savoy Palace and will open on July 26,

the day before the Games’ Opening ceremony. We are looking forward to opening our doors to the world and

to demonstrating Qatar’s commitment to sport through the events we organise and the programmes we run to

promote not only sport but the spirit and ideals of Olympism.

Our team of eight male and four women competitors are working hard to prepare to give the best possible

performance in their events and we wish them well. I know that they are all extremely excited about the

prospect of taking part in the London Games. It will be a special event for everybody, not the least shooter

Nasser Al-Attiyah who will be taking part in his fifth Olympic Games.

For others, London marks their debut in the world’s biggest sporting festival. Their inclusion in the team is an

indication of the progress which has been made by athletes who have progressed through the Student Games

“Gymnasiade” and the Youth Olympic Games in Singapore and now into full Olympic competition. It has been

a pleasure to watch their progress and the good news is that there are many other talented competitors in the

system whose Olympic dreams may come true in Rio de Janeiro 2016 or beyond.

Our commitment to the Olympic Games and the Olympic Movement is unshakeable which is why we remain

determined that one day Doha should be honoured with the opportunity of hosting the Olympic Games.

While we have not been through to the second phase as a Candidate City for the 2020 Games, sport remains

central to life in Qatar and we firmly believe that it is a matter of when and not if we host the Games in the future.

We will bid for the 2024 Olympic Games and you can be assured that we will work closely in co-operation with

the International Olympic Committee to look into different areas of their report and make sure that we address

any issues and are extremely well prepared for our next bid.

During May we were delighted to be in Lausanne to take part in the IOC’s meeting on sports and the

environment. We were particularly pleased that the meeting discussed the Doha Declaration, issued after the

IOC 9th World Conference on Sport and Environment in Qatar last year and recommended that it should be

discussed at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro.

Looking to the future we are delighted that Doha has been selected to host the 2014 FINA World Short Course

Championships. It is a great honour to host an event which has taken big strides in terms of presentation and

event management in recent years. The Championships are an event of true global significance and will attract

a major worldwide TV audience. We look forward to welcoming the officials from FINA and the world’s best

swimmers to our city and can assure them of the warmest of welcomes.

In this year, Qatar has hosted 35 international sports events to the highest of standards in some of the best

and most modern facilities in the world. Now we are looking towards our goal of increasing the number to 50

international events per year by 2020 and you can be assured that we will work tirelessly to achieve that.

Saoud Bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani

Secretary General, Qatar Olympic Committee

4 | Issue 18 | Qatar Sport






China’s Guo Yue focuses on the ball

during the women’s fi nal at the World

Team Table Tennis Championships in

Dortmund, April 1, 2012. Photograph

by: REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay


Neymar of Santos and Brazil celebrates after

scoring in a Sao Paulo State Championship

match in Santos, April 22, 2012. Photograph by:

REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker

Qatar Sport | Issue 18 | 5



Team Britain’s Olympic

cyclist Victoria Pendleton

waits to compete at the UCI

Track Cycling World Cup in

London, February 18, 2012.

Photograph by: REUTERS/

Eddie Keogh


Qatar’s Mutaz Barshim clears

the bar in the men’s high jump

at the World Indoor Athletics

Championships in Istanbul,

March 10, 2012. Photograph by:

REUTERS/Dylan Martinez

6 | Issue 18 | Qatar Sport


Bryan Nickson and Huang Qiang of Malaysia compete in the

men’s synchronized 3m springboard at the Canada Cup in

Montreal, May 5, 2012. Photograph by: REUTERS/Olivier Jean

Qatar Sport | Issue 18 | 7




While the athletes, coaches and

offi cials get ready for London 2012,

another race is taking place behind the

scenes for 2020.

The sports of baseball, karate, roller

sports, softball, sports climbing, squash,

wakeboarding and wushu are all on the

International Olympic Committee (IOC)

shortlist to be considered for inclusion in

the 2020 Summer Games.

Only one of these can be voted onto

the Olympic roster of 28 sports when the

125th IOC Session in Buenos Aires meets

to vote on the matter in September 2013.

It will be a tough decision because all eight

sports can make a case for their inclusion.

One of the most well-organised of

advocates for Olympic inclusion is the

sport of squash.

An international sport with 125 events

on the Men’s (PSA) Professional Tour alone,

the sport has impressive participation

and professional game numbers.

According to the World Squash

Federation, the governing body for

131 member nations, the sport

is played by 20 million men and

women on more than 50,000

courts in 185 countries and

has a growing professional

profi le.

More than 500 players from 74 nations

compete on the PSA Tour which has

grown by 59 per cent over the past six

years in terms of the number of events


Refl ecting this global appeal, the 2012

PSA World Championships will

take place in Doha in December – marking

the third time that Qatar has hosted the

event (previously known as the ‘World

Open’ ), which has been hosted as far

afi eld as Hong Kong, Bermuda and Pakistan

over the last decade.

The professional sport also has a

strong female base. More than 350

professionals compete on the Women’s

(WISPA) World Tour, led by world Number

One, Nicol David of Malaysia.

Also in the running for Olympic

inclusion is baseball and softball, which

were last played as medal events at the

2008 Beijing Games.

The bat and ball sports are planning a

joint campaign to return to the Olympics

in 2020 – and to enhance their prospects,

the men’s and women’s games may decide

to merge into one federation.

Just as importantly for baseball, at

least, is a commitment that Major League

Baseball (MLB) players compete in the

Olympics for their countries – but

only the 30 franchise owners and MLB

Commissioner Bud Selig can decide that.

The martial arts of wushu and karate

have also made their claim to join judo

and taekwondo at the Games. In 2008

the Chinese government petitioned for

wushu’s inclusion within the Olympic

Games in Beijing. Although the petition

was denied, the IOC agreed to hold

a separate international wushu event

during the Games.

Karate, on the other hand, came close

to Olympic inclusion in 2005 when, along

with squash, the martial art was put to

a two-thirds majority vote at the IOC

Congress in Singapore – neither eventually

made the cut for London 2012. Karate

failed in another bid for 2016 but will keep

on trying for 2020.

8 | Issue 18 | Qatar Sport

Outsiders perhaps are three sports that

have seen major participation growth

among young people but have less

established competitive structures.

Roller sport, which is governed by the

International Roller Sports Federation, hit

a height of popularity in the 1990s but has

seen participation rates dip since then.

Sports climbing, which is governed

by the International Federation of Sport

Climbing, founded in 2007, represents

three disciplines of climbing competition:

lead climbing, bouldering and speed.

Like another Olympic contender, cable

wakeboarding, sports climbing appeals to

young people but is still relatively obscure

to the wider public.

There are other sports too hovering on

the fringes for inclusion at an even later

date. Polo, which was last included at

the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin,

has launched a campaign to become a

future Olympic medal sport.

Twenty20 cricket will also have to

wait until 2024 at the earliest to be

included in the Olympic Games

As for the 2016 Games, golf and sevena-side

rugby were approved by the IOC

in 2009 and look forward to taking their

place in the sun in Rio de Janeiro.


World Squash Federation (WSF)

Founded: 1967

Member Countries: 131

Headquarters: Lausanne, Switzerland

Olympic History: None


International Baseball Federation

Founded: 1938

Member Countries: 118

Headquarters: Lausanne, Switzerland

Olympic History: Olympic medal sport

between 1992 and 2008


International Waterskiing

and Wakeboarding Federation

Founded: 1946

Member Countries: 84

Headquarters: Unteraegeri, Switzerland

Olympic History: None


International Wushu Federation

Founded: 1990

Member Countries 140

Headquarters: Beijing, China

Olympic history: IOC permitted

a parallel Wushu competition

at Beijing 2008.


International Softball Federation

Founded: 1952

Member Countries: 127

Headquarters: Plant City, USA

Olympic History: Olympic medal sport

between 1996 and 2008


International Roller Sports Federation

Founded: 1924

Member Countries: 118

Headquarters: Rome, Italy

Olympic History: Demonstration

Sport at the 1992 Olympic Games

in Barcelona


Word Karate Federation

Founded: 1990

Member Countries: 183

Headquarters: Madrid, Spain

Olympic History: None


International Federation

of Sport Climbing

Founded: 2007

Members Countries: 80

Headquarters: Turin, Italy

Olympic History: None



The great and the good of the Qatari

sports scene met up at the Qatar Olympic

Committee (QOC) headquarters in June

to celebrate the 2011-12 sports season

just finished and present awards to the

country’s best athletes, teams, federations

and administrators.

At the beginning of the ceremony, H.E.

Sheikh Saud bin Ali Al Thani, the QOC

Deputy President and HE Sheikh Saoud bin

Abdulrahman Al-Thani, the QOC Secretary

General, were honoured for their tangible

contributions to the country’s sport


In recognition of their dazzling

achievements during the season, the Qatar

Gymnastics Federation (QGF) received

the Ideal Federation Award. The Qatar

Shooting and Archery Federation, Qatar

Basketball Federation, Qatar Association

of Athletics Federation collectively bagged

the Golden Federation Award.

As for the athletes, the top prizes for

season 2011-2012, included awards for

Nasser Al-Attiyiah and Bahia Al-Hamad

(shooting), Mohammed Ahmed Al-Kawari

(skeet), Shaden Mahmoud Wahdan

(gymnastics), Abdulaziz Saadoun Al-Kawari

(motorssport), Ali Mohammed (beach

ball) and Naser Said Khalifa Al-Suhouti

(paralympic Javelin thrower).

A number of coaches were also

honoured for their productive work during

the season, including Khalid Saif Al-Kawari,

Qatar handball’s assistant-coach (Best

National Coach) and Jorge Fossati (Best

Foreign Coach). The Uruguayan Fossati

joined Qatar Stars League club Al Sadd for

his second stint in 2011 after helping them

win all four domestic titles in 2006-07.

Under his management, Al Sadd won the

AFC Champions League in 2011 and took

third place in the FIFA Club World Cup.

The Sport First Supporter Award (for

a government body) was given to Qatar

Media Corporation, while the same

award at company level went to Q-Tel.

The appreciation award for Best National

Company engaged in several sport projects

was given to the Al-Ghurair Trading and

Contracting Company.

Qatar Sport | Issue 18 | 9



definitelY aBle

“Defi nitely Able”, a campaign

that focuses on what can be

accomplished in sport and life,

regardless of disability, has been

launched in Doha.

Under the banner “Being

Disabled means Definitely Able”,

the Qatar Olympic Committee and

athletes from the Qatar Paralympic

Committee will take part in a series

of events across Doha aimed at

promoting the idea that being

disabled need not hinder one's

dreams. A highlight of the joint

partnership, which includes the

South Africa Paralympic Wheelchair

Basketball team (sponsored by

Sasol Company) and the Embassy

of South Africa to Qatar, was

an exhibition match, which

demonstrated the special skills

required for the wheelchair version

of basketball. “If you believe, as

we do, that sport has the power

to effect real change in people’s

lives, the South African Paralympic

Wheelchair Basketball team (WBSA)

is a wonderful example of how that

can be achieved, “ said the QOC’s

Sheikh Saoud.

The WBSA were crowned African

champions at the All African Games.

in 2007 and qualified for the 2008

Paralympic Games in Beijing, China.

eaton JoinS iCSS

Chris Eaton, the former Head of

Security at FIFA, has joined the

Qatar-based International Centre

for Sport Security (ICSS) as the

organisation’s new Director of

Sport Integrity.

In his new position, Eaton will

work with international sporting

bodies, governments, agencies

and academic institutions to help

combat what he calls “the scourge

of sports-results manipulation and

criminal activities in sport”.

Details will be announced soon

about the 3rd International Sport

Security Conference, taking place

in 2013.




olympic watchers with a keen eye

for detail will notice something new at

the London 2012 Games – fewer events in

new steel and concrete arenas, and more

in temporary venues, often showcasing

the best landmarks and views the host

city has to offer.

In London, for example, the show

jumping events will take place in the

scenic surroundings of Greenwich Park,

a World Heritage site, and the beach

volleyball at the tourists' hot spot, the

Horse Guards Parade. Less exotically, the

Basketball Arena and Water Polo Arena

in the Olympic Park are also temporary

venues. The so-called “Ice Cube”, the

venue for basketball and handball, is made

out of a steel frame and 20,000 metres of

recyclable white PVC. It will be dismantled

after the Games and used elsewhere.

Meanwhile, the Water Polo Arena has

an infl atable roof made from recyclable

plastic as part if its design.

In fact, London will have around the

same number of “temporary structures” as

the last three Summer Games combined.

The reason? Temporary venues are now

in the DNA of every Olympic bid. To be

seriously considered, a host city must

have a sustainable legacy permeating

throughout the venue masterplan.

If there is a legacy need, permanent

builds are still needed. If not, the solution

must be temporary.

Gilbert Felli, the IOC Executive

Director, who has been trusted to

ensure the Greatest Show on Earth

runs smoothly since 2003, explains that

modern-day organising committees face

a new challenge: managing an event that

delivers a box-office show while leaving

a lasting legacy that has minimal impact

on the environment.

Says Felli: “We have to think a lot more

about the legacy of the Games now. In

terms of event management, cities have

to prove to us they need certain venues,

or if they don’t need it after the Games

what they are going to do to make the

most of it.”

Following a legacy theme, Felli says

he expects this trend to continue in the

future with host cities looking to show

off their most memorable landmarks.

“The reason why you have more

temporary venues now is down to two

factors,” he says.

“Either you don’t need the venue

afterwards, or the concept of your Games

is to show off some iconic places within

your city. This can be a real advantage to

help promote a city.”

10 | Issue 18 | Qatar Sport






IT IS NOW 32 years since Sebastian Coe

accelerated past East Germany’s Jurgen

Straub to win the 1,500 metres gold medal

at the 1980 Olympic Games in Moscow.

But it is a moment which remains vivid

in the memories of sports fans worldwide

and one which marked the beginning of

Coe’s journey from phenomenal athlete

to global prominence as one of the most

infl uential fi gures in sport.

That afternoon in Moscow has

gone down as one of the great Olympic

moments. It represented the height

of Coe’s rivalry with fellow British

runner Steve Ovett who, only days

earlier, had beaten him in the 800 metres,

his stronger event.

That said Coe “was the worst 800

metres of my 20-year career.”

Ovett was expected to win over the

longer distance but Coe’s attitude and race

strategy were spot on. After two relatively

slow laps he was free to use his explosive

800 metres pace to its full extent and

sprinted home with Ovett in third.

Four years later, in Los Angeles,

Coe became the first man to retain

the Olympic 1,500 metres title and

added a second 800 metres silver

to his medal collection.

During a glittering track career, Coe

broke world records 12 times and added

a host of European and other titles to his

Olympic haul.

In fact, if there is a genetic code for

success, Sebastian Coe has it in spades.

After retiring from the track he

became a Member of the United Kingdom

Parliament, a successful businessman, a

Vice President of the IAAF, a Member of

FIFAs ethics commission and, of course,

led London’s successful bid and then

the Organising Committee for the 2012

Qatar Sport | Issue 18 | 13


Olympic Games which gets under

way later this month.

Despite his Olympic glory, it may well

be that London 2012 is seen as Lord

Sebastian Coe’s fi nest hour. Certainly, his

reaction to winning the tightest imaginable

bidding contest against Paris, Madrid and

others suggests as much. It was, he said

in one interview, a triumph that

outweighed his medal haul.

Coe was widely credited with turningaround

a bid which had been described

in some quarters as ‘a joke.’ He gave it

shape, focus and meaning. Many close

observers put the success down to

his own style of leadership and his ability

to unite Britain’s sporting, political

and business worlds in a common cause.

That has, by and large, continued

throughout the seven years since

IOC president Jacques Rogge made

the historic announcement that the

Games were coming to London for

the fi rst time since 1948.

Today, London prepares to welcome

the world to what some observers predict

will be one of the best ever Olympic

Games. World-class

facilities and


have been

created to

regenerate a

run-down area

of East London,

tickets have sold in

record numbers and

England expects a party.

Yet the leadership

and organisational abilities,

which Coe has demonstrated

on behalf of London 2012 had been

evident for many years.

As an athlete representative he was

active in sports administration long before

he hung up his spikes and his skills of

presentation and persuasion have since

developed through careers in business and

politics. He was a Member of Parliament for

the fi ve years up to 1997, later becoming

Chief of Staff to William Hague, leader of

the opposition Conservative Party, and then

becoming Lord Coe and taking his seat in

the House of Lords in 2002.

And while he may be a Lord, if Coe has

blue blood it is the b

lue of Chelsea Football Club that runs

through his veins. But it is athletics which

remains ‘my sport’ and he is as passionate

about it as in the days when he was still

pulling on the

GB vest. As a Vice President of the IAAF,

he has been part of the process of reevaluating

and re-shaping the sport for

the 21st century.

“Track and field is just about

everybody’s favourite second sport

but although today’s audience is very

sophisticated, they didn’t always know

what was going on. For too long there

has been no real pace or symmetry

to the season and that is probably

something that we should have addressed

in the early 1990s,” Coe says.

These are issues, which many other

sports, notably tennis, have grappled with

over the years and the causes are to be

found in the way that the track and field

has developed over the years.

“I guess my career spanned two very

different systems within athletics,” he

explains. “When I first got into the sport

all the athletes would get (for competing)

were vouchers covering their rail fares

and a meal. It was an amateur sport, which

offered very little encouragement for the

top performers to turn out.

“In the late 70s and early 80s my

selection of meetings was made on the

basis of the promoters who I liked and

trusted and where I wanted to compete.

I liked competing at Zurich and Oslo

more than some other cities and the

promoters of those meetings are still

14 | Issue 18 | Qatar Sport


close friends of mine. In the same way,

other athletes would have their own

favourites. Edwin Moses always competed

in Berlin while the Koblenz meeting was

built around Steve Ovett.

"The result was that by the time we got

to the mid to late 80s we had some great

meets but they had grown up in an ad hoc

fashion around individual competitors.

“What we have set out to do at the

IAAF is to streamline the sport, to provide

a narrative and to globalise it. Because

although Europe represents around 90

per cent of TV audiences and interest, we

recognise that for this to be a truly global

sport we do need to go into Asia and

elsewhere as well as harnessing the United

States which has been a difficult market for

us for a long time.

“The Diamond League gives some pace

and symmetry to the season, starting with

meetings in the Gulf and Asia. This has

been a complex process but the point

we got to was an understanding that no

change was not an option.”

Now London 2012 is set to square

that particular circle by presenting British

athletics not only with an inspirational

focus for a generation of young athletes but

a national athletics stadium worthy of the

name. That it is certain to host at least one

of the two high profi le Diamond League

meets to be staged in the UK is an added

bonus, presenting the prospect of UK

athletes succeeding on a world class stage

in front a passionate and full home crowd.

The stadium and its boost to UK

athletics will be one of the most obvious

legacy benefi ts to spring from a London

Games which, from the very beginning has

been about athletes and about youth. As

chairman on the Organising Committee

and the best-known face on the team, Coe

lives and breathes the project and says

that, despite some of the negativity from

domestic media, there’s nothing he would

rather be doing. “I have tremendous pride

in the team which is delivering this,” says

Coe. “I get up in the morning and think I

have the best job in the world. I have been

involved with the Olympic Movement

since 1981, I was the first athlete to speak

at an Olympic Congress, and I became a

member of the Athletes’ Commission and

served on the Medical Commission and

various ad hoc commissions.

"I have competed in the Games and

written and broadcasted on the Games.

So you can see that if you like the Olympic

Games and believe in them as I do, can

there be anything in life which could be

more exciting than this?

"I don’t ever get up in the morning

without feeling massive excitement about

what I am doing."

History will be the judge but delivering

a successful Olympic Games may come to

be seen as Coe’s fi nest achievement and

in the build-up to the Games he was in

confi dent mood.

"Expectations are high and we won't

disappoint,” he said as he announced the

Olympic motto ‘Inspiring a Generation.’

"It (the motto) is everything we have

been saying since we have started this

extraordinary journey.

"It is the heartbeat, the very DNA of

this organisation and a rallying cry for the

athletes to come to the UK to perform at

their very best and inspire the world."

He said it was vital organisers put athletes

at the centre of the preparations and

pledged: "We are going to deliver a fabulous

Games for this country and the 200 other

nations who'll be welcomed here."

International Olympic Committee

(IOC) President Jacques Rogge said he

was confident London would meet the

expectations of the world. "Around the

world, the excitement is growing and

expectations are high but I am confident

that Britain and London will deliver a great

sporting event and a warm welcome too."

Of course, come August 12, 2012 the

London Games will be brought to a close

and the Olympic bandwagon will move on

to the next city and Lord Coe will be left

to focus on fresh projects.

Exactly what they might be remains a

mystery for the time being at least.

“I’m not really thinking that far ahead,” he

says. “You have to maintain primacy of vision

when you are involved in such a large and

complex project.

"You just go from chunk to chunk. My

instinct is to concentrate fully on the things

I am heavily involved in at any given time,

although it’s fair to say that I will always want

to be involved in track and field.”

For the time being though there’s

the small matter of delivering a London

Games, which realises its objectives on

behalf of its incredibly broad range of

stakeholder groups and produces the

desired sporting legacy for the UK.

Naturally, Coe will be the proudest man

in the stadium if the UK’s athletes deliver

a truckload of medals in front of their

home crowd but he remains focused on

the future and the impact that the Games

can have on sport in his own country and

around the world.

“I have no doubt at all that in and

around the Olympic Games we can see

similarities to the way everybody picks up

a racquet around the Wimbledon tennis

competition. What I don't want to happen

after 2012 is that those tennis racquets, or

the equivalent of those tennis racquets, all

go back in a cupboard and people forget

the impact that it has had.

“Our challenge is to put things in place

that will go on inspiring young people

and making sure that governing bodies,

governments, local authorities and the

commercial sector really recognise that

it doesn't stop at the Closing Ceremony

in 2012. In reality it only really starts

then and that legacy isn't going to happen

simply because we sit here saying we've

got the Games.”

Qatar Sport | Issue 18 | 15


July-September 2012

Diamond League Meeting

London, UK 13-14/7/2012

Italian MotoGP

Mugello, Italy 15/7/2012

Diamond League Meeting

Monaco 20/7/2012

Tour de France Final Leg

Paris, France 22/7/2012

German Grand Prix

Hockenheim, Germanay 22/7/2012

Olympic Opening Ceremony

Olympic Stadium, London 27/7/2012

Olympic Men’s 200m Freestyle Final

Aquatic Centre, London 30/7/2012

Olympic Women’s Singles Tennis Final

27/8-9/9 US Open

Reigning champion Novak Djokovic of

Serbia will be the man to beat on the fast

courts of Flushing Meadows this year.

Wimbledon, London 4/8/2012

Olympic Men’s 100 Metres Final

Olympic Stadium, London 5/8/2012

Olympic Men’s Singles Tennis Final

Wimbledon, London 5/8/2012

US PGA Championship

Kiawah Island, USA 9-12/8/2012

Olympic Men’s Football Final

Wembley Stadium, London 11/8/2012

Olympic Men’s and Women’s Basketball Final

02 Arena, London 11/8/2012

4/8 Olympic Women’s Singles Tennis


World Number One Victoria Azarenka is

targeting Olympic gold for Belarus.

Olympic Track and Field Final Day

Olympic Stadium, London 11/8/2012

Olympic Closing Ceremony

Olympic Stadium, London 12/8/2012

America’s Cup World Series

San Francisco, USA 21-26/8/2012

Diamond League Meeting

Lausanne, Switzerland 23/8/2012

US Open

New York, USA 27/8-9/9/2012

Paralympic Games Opening Ceremony

Olympic Stadium, London 29/8/2012

Paralympic Games Closing Ceremony

Olympic Stadium, London 9/9/2012

16 | Issue 18 | Qatar Sport

29/8–9/9 Paralympic Games

China, the United States and

Great Britain are expected to

top the medal table at the 2012

Summer Paralympic Games.


9-12/8 US PGA Championship

Having clinched his fi rst PGA Tour win

this year, Rickie Fowler could be one to

watch at Kiawah Island in August.

22/7 German Grand Prix

This most unpredictable of Formula One seasons

continues its journey at Hockenheim in June

15/7 Italian MotoGP

Can MotoGP legend Valentino Rossi kick-start his

season with a win for Ducati at his home Grand Prix?

21-26/8 America’s Cup World Series

San Francisco Bay, home to the 2013

America’s Cup Finals, will host two

World Series events in 2012.

5/8 Olympic Men’s

100m Final

Sprint superstar

Usain Bolt has 100m

gold in his sights at

London 2012.

30/7 Olympic Men’s 200m

Freestyle Final

MIchael Phelps (USA) is favourite

to win swimming’s Blue Riband

event at the Olympic Games

Qatar Sport | Issue 18 | 17






Qatar will send one of its biggest

Olympic delegations to the 2012 Summer

Games in London – with 12 athletes from

four disciplines (track and field, swimming,

shooting and table tennis) slated to make

the cut.

This year, there will also be an accent on

youth. Team Qatar will be younger than

its equivalent from four years ago – a team

which fl ew to the 2008 Beijing Olympic

Games with high hopes but left without a

medal of any colour.

And with youth (plus a dash of worldclass

experience) there is room for

optimism. Sporting talent is blossoming in

the Gulf peninsular, and while places for

London 2012 were still up for grabs at the

time of writing, three Qatari sports stars

are among a select group who, barring

injuries, are sure to be on the plane for

London come July.

Two qualifi ed for the 2012 Olympic

Games via the traditional routes and are

genuine medal contenders.

Nineteen-year-old high jumping

sensation Mutaz Essa Barshim easily passed

the qualifying mark of 2.31m this season,

while veteran shooter Nasser Al-Attiyah

qualifi ed by winning the skeet gold medal

at the 12th Asian Shooting Championship

in Doha, equalling the world record in the


Female sprinter Noor Al Malki‘s road to

the Games was less conventional.

The 17-year-old is one of four female

Qatari athletes who will go to the Games

thanks to wild-card invitations from the

International Olympic Committee.

Nevertheless, she is a worthy Olympic

competitor. Both Al Malki and Barshim

are home grown talent who represent the

future of sport in Qatar and the

success of the country’s sport

development programmes.

Barshim is a graduate of Doha’s

Aspire Academy for Sporting Excellence

(established in 2005), while Al Malki’s talent

was spotted at school and developed by

the Qatar Amateur Athletics Federation’s

women’s training group which has been

running for fi ve years.

In comparison, Al-Attiyah – the most

successful international sportsman the

country has produced – learned his

shooting skills on hunting trips with his

father in the formative years of Qatar’s

sporting development.

For the elder statesman of the team,

London 2012 will be his fi fth Olympic

Games in the shooting competition, an

extraordinary achievement given his

brilliant parallel career as a world-class

rally driver.

But the 2011 Dakar Rally champion is

no less excited by this coming Olympic

Games than the youngsters in Team Qatar.

Over the following pages, Qatar Sport

reveals the trio’s hopes and dreams for

the Summer Games in London.

18 | Issue 18 | Qatar Sport


Nasser Al-Attiyah

is a four-time Olympian

who competed for Qatar

in Olympic shooting events

at Atlanta 1996, Sydney 2000,

Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008.

At the Beijing 2008 Opening

Ceremony Al-Attiyah carried

the Qatar team flag. More

recently, Al-Attiyah won the gold

medal as a member of the Qatar

Men’s skeet team at the 2010

Asian Games in Guangzhou and

a bronze medal in the individual

men’s skeet competition. As well as

being an Olympian, the 41-year-old

is a champion rally driver, winning the

Dakar Rally in 2011 and the Middle

East Rally Championship seven times.

How have you prepared

for London 2012?

I am 100 per cent geared to the next

Olympics. I cannot drop rallying, it helps

me produce a lot of good performances,

but I have reduced my schedule. For

example, I could not take part in the

New Zealand leg of the World Rally

Championships because I had to complete

some training sessions in preparation for

the London Olympic Games.

What are your

hopes for London 2012?

This is my last chance to fulfil my

dream [of an Olympic medal] at my

fi fth Olympic Games. Everyone of

us has a dream and you have to believe

in yourself to realise your dream because

nothing is impossible.

Who has been the greatest

support in your sporting life?

The government, HH the Emir and HH

The Heir Apparent Sheikh Tamim have

always been very supportive in terms of

resources but also on a personal level.

They have given eveyone [in Qatar] a

chance to do well in sport. I am also

grateful to Mohammed bin Ali Al-Ghanim,

President of the Qatar Shooting and

Archery Federation for his continual



Noor Al-Malki is a 100 and 200 metres

sprinter and a recent recipient of the Qatar

Olympic Committee’s “Sports Athlete of

the Season" award. Noor won two gold

medals in the 100m and 4x100m relay at a

recent GCC athletics tournament and has

a personal best of 12.73 seconds in the 100

metres. The youngster also competed in

Doha's Diamond League Meeting earlier this


How have you prepared

for London 2012?

I was surprised and excited [to be chosen

for London 2012]. I didn’t expect the

honour. I try to balance and perform well

in both directions [academic and sporting]

and train one and a half hours per day.

There is no time for more because my

parents, although interested in my sporting

life, care about my studies.

What are your

hopes for

London 2012?

I feel very happy I will represent my

country in London and I promise I will try

at least to improve my

personal best. I will train hard to achieve

my goal...[but] I know I am not capable

of sparkling performances in London.

First, I want to become an Arab

Champion in my favourite event, the

100m, and then see myself winning Asian

and international competitions.

Who has been the greatest

support in your sporting life?

My father and mother stand by me and

help me out. They’re proud for me. I’m

lucky to be part of such a great family;

all my brothers and sisters are practicing

sport too, which is just great.

Qatar Sport | Issue 18 | 19


Mutaz made his international debut

at the age of 18 at the World Indoor

Championships in Doha’s Aspire Dome

in March 2010. Since then, under the

guidance of coach Stanislaw Szczyrba, the

young high jumper has gone on to became

a world and Asian champion at junior level.

He is also an Asian indoor and outdoor

senior champion – setting an Asian indoor

record of 2.37 metres in February 2012.

Besides all these titles, Mutaz has twice

competed at World Championships finals.

How have you prepared

for London 2012?

This year I have had to be smarter in

order to avoid injuries. I've had lots of

competitions [in the last 12 months], but

I think it's been good for me to compete

in many events to gain more experience

in different times of the season. Everyone

was asking me how I manage to stay at this

level, but for me it’s normal. I don’t have

to stay 100 per cent focused all the time, I

just enjoy it.

What are your hopes

for London 2012?

My target isn’t the qualifi cation round,

I have higher goals. For me, getting into

the fi nal is normal. I don’t see any

differences between other Championships

and Olympic Games. In the final everyone

is equal and is aiming for a medal. It is

just a matter of experience and balance

between mentality and technique.

I am still young but I want a medal.

Who has been the greatest

support in your sporting life?

With the backing of everyone in Qatar

and my coach [Stanislaw Szczyrba] of

course, I'm confident I can have a bright

future. I hope I can give something back to

my country and also the Qatar Amateur

Athletics Federation and the Qatar

Olympic Committee who have helped me

enormously. I thank God for the success I

have had so far.

20 | Issue 18 | Qatar Sport


Qatar’s youthful Olympic team for London 2012 bodes well for its sporting profi le in the years to come. The contingent

of seven athletes, aged 20 or under, scheduled to wear the maroon colours of Team Qatar in London shows that it is possible

to develop home-grown talent to compete with the best. It also refl ects the successful activation of two strands of the country’s

sports development strategy – empowering women through sports and encouraging youth participation. Below, are the fi ve Qatari

athletes fresh out of junior competition – two female, three male – with the London Games in their sights. These young

athletes may not win any medals, but for all them, the chance to compete at the Greatest Show on Earth is, quite simply,

the opportunity of a lifetime.



Nada, 17, will compete as a wild

card entry for London 2012 in the

women’s 50m freestyle, the fastest

of the swimming events. She

competed at the 2011 Arab Games

in Doha and is keen to better her

own personal best of 30 seconds

for one length of the pool.


Air rifl e shooter Bahia Al-Hamad, 19,

will compete on the women’s 10m

rifl e competition in London as a wild

card entry. Bahia won a silver medal

in the team event at the Arab Shooting

Championships and the bronze medal

in the individual event. She was Qatar's

most successful athlete at the 2011

Arab Games in Doha with three gold

and two silver medals.


Qatar's fourth wild card entry, Aya Majdi,

18, is the best female table tennis player

the country has produced.

She won three gold medals at the 2010

GCC Championship in Doha and struck

more gold at the 1st Arab Women’s

Sports Tournament in Sharjah, United Arab

Emirates, in February 2012.


Hamza, 18, a 1,000m silver medalist

at the inaugural Youth Olympics in

Singapore in 2010, will compete in

the men’s 1,500m at London 2012.

He qualifi ed for the Olympic Games

with a second-place finish at the Doha

Arab Games in 2011, and will try

his luck at the IAAF Junior Worlds

in Barcelona, Spain en route to the

Olympics in London.



Mohammed, 20, will compete in the

men’s 1,500m, having fi nished little more

than one-tenth of a second behind

Driouch at the Arab Games in Doha. He

competed at the 2010 IAAF World Junior

Championships in Moncton, Canada

where he fi nished with a bronze medal.

Qatar Sport | Issue 18 | 21




Winning an Olympic gold medal is always special, but some moments stand out above

the rest whether because of the athlete’s courage under pressure, record-breaking

excellence or some wider significance that may not be RECOGNISED at the time. Of course,

it is impossible to be entirely objective about the 10 GREATEST Olympic Moments, but whether

you agree with these choices or not, all are WORth celebrating

Jesse Owens 1936

It is difficult to pick out one moment from Jesse Owens’ four gold medal haul

at the 1936 Olympic Games, hosted in Nazi-era Berlin, since his achievements

will always be remembered for their historical as well as sporting context.

Covering them all, however, his first gold was in the 100m, where Owens edged

out teammate Ralph Metcalfe in a time of 10.3 seconds. Gold number two came in

the long jump, where he defeated German favourite Luz Long. The third was in the

200m and the fourth in the 4x100m relay in a world record of 39.8 seconds.

Emile Zatopek 1952

Hungarian distance runner Emile Zatopek

achieved the “impossible” in the Helsinki Games

when he won the 5,000m, the 10,000m and

the marathon within a space of eight days. His

win in the 5,000m was the most spectacular.

Two hundred metres from the finish line, three

runners had not only covered Zatopek’s initial

surge, but sprinted two metres clear. Somehow

the gritty athlete found the strength and

determination to attack again and clinch gold.

22 | Issue 18 | Qatar Sport

Cassius Clay 1960

Before boxer Muhammad Ali became one

of the most famous people on the planet,

he was Cassius Clay, an extrovert 18-yearold

who traveled to the Rome Olympics

to compete in the light heavyweight

division. He won all four of his fights,

defeating three-time European champion

Zbigniew Pietrzykowski in the final with his

trademark fast combinations and elusive

footwork. Clay turned professional later

that year. The rest, as they say, is history.

Bob Beamon 1968

Aided by Mexico City's altitude and a tailwind, USA’s Bob

Beamon broke the world record in the long jump by 55

centimetres during the 1968 Olympic Games. The soaring

jump of 8.90m exceeded all expectations, including his own.

On hearing he’d broken the world record by nearly two feet,

Beamon collapsed to his knees in shock. The incredible world

record remained for almost 23 years until it was finally broken

by compatriot Mike Powell in 1991.

Nadia Comaneci 1976

Before 1976, no athlete had ever received a perfect 10 score in any Olympic

gymnastics event. Then along came the 14-year-old Romanian Nadia

Comaneci, who dazzled the judges in Montreal to the point where

they couldn't help but give her a perfect 10 for her parallel bars routine.

Not only did Comaneci receive the first perfect score, she then proceeded

to get six more in Montreal.

Qatar Sport | Issue 18 | 23


Fu mINGxIa 1992

Diving prodigy Fu Mingxia became China’s youngest-ever

Olympic Champion when at the age of 13 she won the 10m

competition at the Barcelona Games. Although a double

gold medal winner in Atlanta four years later, Mingxia will

forever be associated with the iconic images of her high

board dives against Barcelona’s dramatic skyline. Mingxia

quit the sport at 18, but returned to claim her third

Olympic title at the Sydney Games in

2000 in the 3m springboard.

cathy FReemaN 2000

Australia’s foremost Aboriginal athlete and sole track and field medal hope

at the Olympic Games in Sydney, Cathy Freeman carried a unique burden

of expectation from the host nation. The world’s spotlight was on Freeman

when she lit the fl ame at the Opening Ceremony and 11 days later when

she lined up for the 400m final. During the race, she entered the home

straight in third place but with 60m to go, Freeman powered clear to the

joy of the crowd and relief of the exhausted athlete.

hIcham eL GueRROuj 2004

Two legends in a legendary race, Morocco’s Hicham El Guerrouj and

Kenenisa Bekele of Ethiopia, met each other in the final of the 5,000m

in Athens. El Guerrouj had already won the 1,500m gold but few

believed he could match Paavo Nurmi’s double victory in the 1,500m

and 5,000m from Paris 1924. Bekele hit the front fi rst on the final lap,

but El Guerrouj timed his sprint to perfection, overtaking Bekele on

the fi nal turn and kicking on to make Olympic history.

24 | Issue 18 | Qatar Sport


Michael Phelps


Michael Phelps’ seventh gold medal of

the eight he won in Beijing was clinched

in the most dramatic of circumstances,

when the 23-year-old touched the

wall ahead of Serbia’s Milo Caviv by

the narrowest of margins in the 100m

butterfly. The finish was so close that

Phelps actually thought he lost until

he saw the '1' beside his name on the

scoreboard. "When I did chop the last

stroke, I thought that had cost me the

race," he said. "But it was actually the

opposite. If I had glided, I would have

been way too long.”

Usain Bolt 2008

In Beijing, Jamaica’s Usain Bolt clocked an

astonishing 9.69 seconds in the 100m final

despite visibly slowing down in the final

20m. Bolt’s total dominance is reflected in

the faces of the silver and bronze medal

winners – both overjoyed to have been in

his slipstream. Bolt then reduced Michael

Johnson's 1996 world 200m record of

19.32 by two hundredths of a second. The

4x100m relay world record for Jamaica

with Bolt running the third leg was a formality.

Qatar Sport | Issue 18 | 25







THE DECISION NOT to shortlist Doha

for the Olympics and Paralympic Games

in 2020 does not curtail our country’s

ambitions or its work in progress towards

becoming a regional and global sports hub.

We are still committed to our sports

legacy projects and to empowering youth

through sports.

“ We are still committed to

our sports legacy projects

and to empowering

youth through sports.”

We are preparing to launch a national

campaign to encourage youth to

participate in sports, to improve their

lifestyle and because we believe that sport

has the power to break down barriers,

regardless of the decisions made that are

beyond our power.

Although disappointed, we know

that for Doha the Olympics are always

‘a question of when, not if.’

With so many sports venues already

in place and budgeted for, we can offer the

International Olympic Committee (IOC)

great certainty and a low cost Games plan

as well as an exciting legacy vision.

Our Sports Master Plan, which was

the basis of Doha’s bid, ensured no

‘white elephants’ and a totally sustainable

approach - for the environment,

for the venues, for our communities

and for sport in the region.

Our aim is to create a legacy for sport

in the entire region empowering a new

generation of girls and boys to become

active through sport.

We want to inspire change, create

sporting and commercial opportunities

for the Olympic Movement and build

bridges of understanding between the

region and the international community.

Our geographical location also

makes us easily accessible to the rest of

the world.

The good news is that our National

Vision and Master Plan guarantees an

urban fabric that continues to place sport

at its heart.

Therefore Doha will be ready to host

the Games whenever the IOC leadership

grants the wider IOC membership the

opportunity to decide the fate of bidding

nations at this stage of the process.

Nevertheless much of the legacy plans

for 2020 will go on.

These include the region’s first women’s

High Performance Training Centre

which will be a real boost for girls and

women athletes who want to become elite


We will digest the findings of the IOC

report and look forward to the 2024 race.


Hassan Al Mohammadi is the Head

of Media in the Qatar Olympic

Committee which he joined in March

2008. He has been in the media fi eld

for over 20 years and started as an

amateur when, along with a number

of colleagues, he launched a journal in

parallel with the Cultural Magazine of

Al Sadd Sports Club.

The journal was published in 1991

bearing the name of the club and

was the fi rst of its kind among Qatari

sports clubs.

As for his professional career, Al

Mohammadi joined the ‘Al Watan’

newspaper from its foundation in

September 1995 and worked there for

ten years, reaching the position of Head

of Local Affairs Section. In addition

to supervising the media activities in

the Qatar Olympic Committee, Al

Mohammadi is also a freelance sports

editor with his articles published in

many newspapers and websites.

Al Mohammadi is also a member of

the Media Committee for the Asian

Olympic Council.

“ We know that for Doha the Olympics are always ‘a question of when, not if’.”

26 | Issue 18 | Qatar Sport





WHEN RIO DE Janeiro was awarded the

right to host the 2016 Olympic Games,

much was made of the fact that it would

be the first time that the Greatest Show on

Earth had been staged in Latin America.

Everybody agreed that the International

Olympic Committee (IOC) had made a

wise choice and that taking the Games to

Brazil extends the reach of the Olympic

Family and helps spread and share the

Olympic Spirit and values of Olympism.

But despite the apparent will of the

IOC to make the Games as universal as

possible, there are still regions which have

yet to enjoy the honour of hosting them,

among them the Gulf States.

In a changing world, the Middle East,

and in particular the Gulf States, are

playing an increasingly important role on

the world sporting stage but to date bids

to host the Olympic Games have been

rebuffed at the earliest stage.

In May, the IOC’s executive committee

decided not to accept Doha’s bid to stage

the 2020 Games for a variety of reasons

including the proposed time slot.

The IOC is reluctant to move away from

the traditional July / August window for a

variety of reasons including, it is understood,

the demands of broadcasters, particularly in

the US. This is understandable.

In most major markets July and August

represent a relatively clear period for

broadcasters before the major European

soccer leagues or the National Football

League in the United States get under way

and hoover up media time and attention.

Holding an Olympic Games outside this

window would, logic suggests, have a

potentially damaging impact on the value

of its media rights.

This causes a significant difficulty for

cities in particular climatic zones where

it is simply too hot to run the Games

safely in the traditional mid-summer

period and suggests that they will never

host the Games unless the goalposts are

moved. And that need not be as radical a

step as it may at first sound.

In the interests of inclusivity, perhaps

the IOC should identify a future Games to

be staged in October and November and

open the bidding process to all cities able

to deliver brilliant Games in that window.

If the Games in question were to be

set for four quadrennials from now, in

2028, individual federations, coaches and

athletes would have more than sufficient

time to alter schedules to take the change

of date into account.

Of course, this does not deal with the

issue of media values falling in a more

competitive autumn schedule but this is

a challenge that other sports governing

bodies have had to face-up to in the past.

Last year the International Rugby

Board’s World Cup was staged in New

Zealand, a tiny domestic market where

games played in the afternoon and

evening were screened in the early and

mid morning in the game’s heartlands of

Europe and South Africa.

The IRB’s view was that rugby simply

had to go to New Zealand and that


Kevin Roberts is the Editorial

Director of SportBusiness Group,

publisher of the well-respected

Sport Business International magazine

and Sportbusiness.com, the world’s

leading on-line source of information

about the business of sport. He has

chaired and spoken at numerous

international conferences including

the International Olympic Committee’s

Conference on Sport and New Media

and various editions of Sportel in

Monaco and Miami.

commercial considerations took second

place. They took an holistic commercial

view across two tournaments and

reasoned that any shortfall from the 2011

World Cup would be made up through

the 2015 event in England. This was not a

compromise but a question of balance.

Such a move would not rule any

city out of bidding to host Games - the

contest would be as white hot as ever- it

would simply embrace those which are

currently effectively excluded despite

their commitment to the Games and the

Olympic Movement.

“In the interests of inclusivity, perhaps the IOC should identify a future Games

to be staged in October and November”

Qatar Sport | Issue 18 | 27


The Greatest


What makes a great Olympian? Gold medals, and lots of them, most certainly. Longevity

too is a prerequisite, proving their prOWess over a number of Olympic cycles. But the third

ingredient is perhaps even more important: that special something that separates the very

best from the rest of the high achievers. There are plenty to choose from but Qatar Sport

has narrOWed the field down to three indisputable Kings of the modern Olympic era

Michael Phelps

Michael Phelps is the greatest swimmer

in history according to another giant of

the pool, Australian multi-medal winner

Ian Thorpe whose own Olympic exploits

inspired Phelps as a youngster.

This is not simply a peer opinion. It is a

cast-iron fact borne out by his haul of eight

Gold medals from the Beijing Olympics

to go with the six golds and two bronze

which kick-started his Olympic career in

Athens four years earlier.

Now, according to Thorpe, he is likely

to add to that total at London 2012.

“I believe Michael is a very strong

favourite to win three gold medals

in London and a 50-50 contender

for another three,” Thorpe said

in a recent interview.

“In my mind winning multiple gold

medals in London would be just as

impressive as winning eight in Beijing.

What he achieved in China was

phenomenal. There’s no way I’ll ever see

that again in my lifetime.

“The man has dominated world

swimming for a decade not. How

can he still have such desire when he’s

accomplished all there is to in sport?”

Experts say that Phelps was made for

swimming. His physique and 6ft 7 inch

arms help give him enormous power in

the water but, as every successful athlete

knows, success is also a matter of focus,

willpower and steely determination.

“I feel at home in the water. I disappear,

it’s where I belong,” said Phelps who can’t

remember the last day he didn’t train.

Phelps has been swimming since the age

of seven when, it is reported, the sport

was chosen as an outlet for his energies

after a diagnosis of ADHD. By the time he

was 10 he was a national record holder

in his age group and under the tutelage of

coach Bob Bowman he was good enough

to make the US team for the Sydney

Olympic games as a 15-year-old.

He didn’t medal but made his final.

Qatar Sport | Issue 18 | 29


In 2001, at the US national trials for the

world championships he broke the world

record for the 200m butterfly. The record

didn’t stand long. Phelps beat it again at the

championships themselves, aged just 15

years and nine months.

Phelps dived into the global consciousness

at the Athens Games where his potential

became reality as he powered to gold in

the 100m and 200m butterfly, 200m and

400m individual medley events, setting

a world record in the latter. For good

measure he also picked up relay golds in

the 4x100m medley and 4x200m freestyle.

His two bronzes, in the 200m freestyle (in

a US national record time) and 4x100m

freestyle relay are mere footnotes.

His performances had already made him

a legend but it was in Beijing’s Water

Cube that he joined the ranks of Olympic

immortals. Before Beijing the biggest gold

haul from a single games had been set by

another American swimmer, Mark Spitz,

at the Munich games of 1972. Phelps

was determined to beat that record and

ultimately did so in style.

Phelps' magnificent eight raised the bar

signifi cantly. His eight golds produced

seven world records and one Olympic

record and came in 100m butterfly, 200m

butterfl y, 200m freestyle, 200m individual

medley, 400m individual medley, 4x00m

freestyle relay, 4x200m individual relay

and 4x100m medley relay. Phelps is

well aware of what he has achieved and,

looking ahead to the London Games,

said: "I have the opportunity to be part of

swimming history. To take the sport to a

new level would be an honour for me and

there’s no better time to try this than now.

I know it won’t be eight medals again. If

you want to compare me to that, it's your

decision, not mine I’m going out there to

try to accomplish the things I have in my

mind and my heart.”

sir steve redgrave

As Steve Redgrave celebrated his gold medal at the 1996 Olympic

Games in Atlanta, Georgia, he appeared to draw the curtain on

what had been a glorious career.

“Anybody who sees me in a boat has my permission to

shoot me,” he said as he revelled in his triumph in the coxless

pairs with Matthew Pinsent.

It was Redgrave’s fourth gold medal in four consecutive

Olympic games, a massive achievement for any athlete and

particularly impressive in rowing, a sport which

makes phenomenal physical and mental demands.

As far as the press and public were concerned

Redgrave had earned his retirement. His record

was simply immense and he was already assured

of his place in any Olympic Hall of Fame.

But just four months after appearing to

retire from this most gruelling of sports,

Redgrave was back in training and back on

the gold trail once more.

Partner Pinsent had already decided to pursue

his own third gold by moving from the coxless

pair to the four-man boat and both Redgrave and

GB rowing Coach Jurgen Grobler could see the

potential for further success.

Pinsent and Redgrave were paired with James

Cracknell, a junior world champion and Tim

Foster who had picked up a bronze medal in the

GB four in Atlanta.

The new crew made a bright start and won

the Wold Championships in September 1997 but

were then dealt a hammer blow when Redgrave

was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes which

initially took an enormous toll.

But Redgrave’s steely determination took

over. “I decided that diabetes had to live with

me and not me live with it,” he said. The

decision saw him increase his daily insulin

doses, which allowed him to return to the

7,000 calorie a day diet which fuelled world

class training and competition.

As the build-up to the Sydney Olympics

continued the GB four were defeated for the

fi rst time in the semi-fi nals of the World Cup regatta in Lucerne.

But while defeat gave cause for concern, it led to a re-focus on

training and strategy that were to bring the crew to its peak just a

couple of months later in an Olympic fi nal which was won by

just 0.38 seconds.

It was Redgrave’s crowning glory, his fi fth Gold medal

in fi ve different Olympic Games, each a massive triumph to

compliment his nine golds, two silvers and a bronze at the

World Rowing Championships.

The Sydney race was screened on television at 1am in the

UK yet attracted a huge television audience and earned

the four, and in particular Redgrave, the kind of adoration

normally associated with footballers.

In his book, Redgrave refl ected on the moment

of victory and what had made it possible.

“When we came off the water having just won the gold

medal in Sydney, the BBC was waiting to interview us.

“When did you know you'd won the race, Steve?"

"After 250 metres." "D'you

mean with 250 metres to go,"

Steve Rider corrected me, clearly

thinking I'd be crazy to imagine the

race won after only an eighth of

the distance. "No, I mean after 250

metres," I said. I wasn't joking. “I

know that some people thought I

was arrogant. That's a peril of selfbelief.

It might have appeared

arrogant in that exchange

with Steve Rider, but it

was only the truth.

30 | Issue 18 | Qatar Sport


“I genuinely felt that at the time, mainly

because the belief doesn't spring from

nowhere. It arrives because you work like

a dog for years and years and years.

"Self-belief is probably the most crucial

factor in sporting success. The bodies are

roughly equal, the training is similar, the

techniques can be copied, what separates

the achievers is nothing as tangible as

split times or kilograms. It is the iron in

the mind, not the supplements, that wins

medals.” After his triumph in Sydney,

Redgrave described himself as “just an

ordinary guy who went quite quickly in a

boat.” HIs partner Matthew Pinsent saw it

another way. “Today winning his fi fth Gold

medal I think he has made himself the

greatest Olympian that Great Britain and

arguably the world has ever produced.”

carl leWis

With 10 medals to his name in both

track and fi eld events, Carl Lewis is

undoubtedly one of the true legends of

Olympic sport.

But despite his massive talent,

Lewis is not always regarded as

affectionately as some Olympic greats,

in part because of his occasionally spikey

attitude and his focus on making money

from his celebrity status.

Lewis was already one of the bestknown

athletes in the world when he

joined the US team for the 1984 Games

in Los Angeles. The previous year he

had ignited the inaugural IAAF World

Championships in Helsinki where he had

won the 100m, long jump and anchored

the US team’s world record braking win

in the 4x100m relay.

Lewis came from track and fi eld stock.

His mother had competed in the 1952

Olympic Games and his father was also

his coach for many years. His parents

ran an athletics club and Lewis showed

immediate promise as a young longjumper.

Such was the infl eunce of his

father that, on his death, Lewis insisted

that one of his Olympic gold medals was

buried along with him on the basis that ‘I

can get another one.’

In Los Angeles, Lewis continued to

grow his talent and his reputation. He

had publicly stated his desire to emulate

Jesse Owens’ achievement of four

gold medals in one Games and in LA’s

Memorial Coliseum he achieved his goal

with wins in the 100m, 200m, long jump

and 4x400m. In the build-up to the Seoul

Olympics four years later, Lewis had come

under pressure in both the sprint events

with Canadian Ben Johnson his major rival

for the 100 metres. At this Games, Lewis

was beaten into second place in the 200m

– the only silver in a collection otherwise

dominated by gold – and he also came

home just behind Johnson in a seismic

100m fi nal. But after what had been

billed as the greatest sprint in history,

Johnson’s dope test proved positive and

his disqualifi cation meant that Lewis took

gold. There was further glory in the long

jump although gold eluded him as the US

relay team was excluded after a fouled

baton change.

Despite his Olympic success, Lewis has

said that the IAAF World Championships

in Tokyo in 1991 was the best meeting he

took part in. New winds were blowing

across athletics and super-talented 100m

runners like Leroy Burrell and Raymond

Stewart were joined by long jumper Mike

Powell in turning the screw on Lewis.

In Tokyo, Lewis responded by beating

both Burrell and Stewart in a new world

record time of 9.86 seconds to take the

100m title although he eventually lost an

epic long jump contest to Powell whose

winning leap was the fi rst to legally

better Bob Beamon’s ‘unbeatable’ jump

from the 1968 Mexico Games. To this

point, Lewis had been unbeaten in long

jump for a decade. Although his career

had peaked, Lewis still had two Olympic

Games in him.

He travelled to Barcelona in 1992

and took further golds in the 4x100m

relay and long jump where he again beat

Powell. And in 1996, back on US soil in

Atlanta he again brought his tally to 10

with victory his fi nal long jump gold.

Lewis made no secret of his

determination to use his status as

a trigger for commercial deals and it

is unfortunate for him that his fame

coincided with a time when track and

fi eld was generally out of favour in

the United States. For years he was

better known outside his homeland

and less able to cash-in on his superb

achievements. While Lewis’ upbringing

helped forge his athletic abilities. his

sheer determination was another key

factor. That’s illustrated here in response

to a question about his long jump

ambitions. “Scientists have proven that

it's impossible to long-jump 30 feet, but I

don't listen to that kind of talk," he said.

"Thoughts like that have a way of

sinking into your feet.”

Qatar Sport | Issue 18 | 31

Overseas Students Scholarship Office (OSSO) program:

Tangible reality and bright future

In reference to the Qatar’s 2030 vision which depends

on human sustainable development as one of its key

pillars, the Qatar Olympic Committee (QOC) launched

the Overseas Students Scholarship Office (OSSO)

in 2008 in an ambitious step to develop the human


The OSSO mainly aims to implement the plans

that related to the development of education and

Qatarization Policy simultaneously, as well as to serve

local community by developing the national human

energies as soon as possible through attracting

distinctive national cadres, graduates of graduates or

students on domestic scholarship.

QOC is making tangible effort to secure the best

educational and recruitment opportunities for the

OSSO students in a serious attempt to implement the

investment policy on national human cadres. Also the

country’s governing sport body looking for constructive

relation with OSSO students and University graduates

in different occupational majors and encourage those

students to join work at QOC.

• External Scholarship Program to

International Universities:

A group of brilliant students who successfully

completed secondary school stage and met the

criteria of OSSO admission should be send on

external scholarship program at the best world

University as per the list approved by the Supreme

Education Council, especially in UK and USA.

• Domestic Scholarship Program to

Universities inside Qatar:

It is special care program for prominent students in

Universities inside Qatar (including, Qatar University,

Universities of Educational City, College of North

Atlantic) the distinctive Qatari students will receive

special care during the University study and to

be attracted to join work in QOC in bid to provide

the governing sport body with best occupational


The OSSO program has achieved a significant

success and received an overwhelming response

from students and their families over the past years.

Several scholarship agreements were dully signed with

well-reputed international Universities in UK and KSA

granting the Qatari secondary school graduates golden

opportunity to receive their higher education.

OSSO program consists of three sections:

• OSSO program for talented

athletes who received sport


This program is special care program allocated

for the talented students who received wellconstructed

sport training and were recommended

by domestic sport Federations. This category will

be distributed into two streams: newly graduatedsecondary

school students will go on an external

scholarship program, as the prominent students

who secured high marks in study and met the

learning hours they will recruited at QOC.

Since , the launch of OSSO program in

2008, many scholarship students secured

dazzling academic supremacy at their respective

Universities, herein below a table shows the

graduates , their learning program and marks they


Sr. Student Name University Major Grade Graduation

1 Amani Salah Al Sultan Qatar University

2 Mana Ahmed Al Jaal Qatar University


Ibrahim Mohammad Ali


Qatar University

4 Ahmad Ali Ahmad Hassan Qatar University

5 Talal Saad Al-Meghassib

North Atlantic

College- Qatar

6 Nouf Ali Al-Adham Qatar University


Abdullah Yousef Al-Abdullah

Qatar University

8 Abdulaziz Abdullah Ghanim Qatar University

9 Ibrahim Ismail Shams Qatar University

Physical Education and

Sports Science/Educational


Physical Education and

Sports Science/Educational


Physical Education and

Sports Science/Educational


Physical Education and

Sports Science/Educational


Very Good Spring 2008

Very Good Spring 2008

Very Good Autumn 2009

Very Good Autumn 2009

Electrical Engineering Good Spring 2010

Physical Education and

Sports Science/Educational


Physical Education and

Sports Science/Educational


Physical Education and

Sports Science/Educational


Physical Education and

Sports Science/Educational


Excellent Spring 2010

Very Good Spring 2010

Very Good Spring 2010

Very Good Spring 2010

10 Jaber Mohammad Al-Sulaiti Qatar University Accountancy Very Good Spring 2010



Turky Mohammad Al-


Rashid Saleh Hamad Al-


13 Abdulaziz Hamad Al-Khalifa

14 Ahmad Khalil Abdullah

Qatar University

Qatar University

University of

Colorado Denver


University of


Physical Education and

Sports Science/Educational


Physical Education and

Sports Science/Educational


Very Good Spring 2011

Pass Autumn 2011

Finance Excellent Spring 2012

Computer System Engineering

Excellent July 2012

Qatar Olympic Committee



“If he [Michael Phelps] wins seven golds and ties what

I did, then it would be like I was the first man on the

moon and he became the second. If he wins more than

seven, then he becomes the first man on Mars. We’d

both be unique.”

So said Olympic swimming legend Mark Spitz before

the Athens 2004 Olympic Games where Phelps, his fellow

Amercian, narrowly failed to match Spitz’s record of seven

swimming gold meals from Munich 1972.

Four years later, however, Phelps made Olympic history

by leaving the “Water Cube” at Beijing 2008 with a recordbreaking

eight gold medals.

Phelps earned $1 million bonus from swimwear company

Speedo when he matched Spitz’s record with victory by onehundredth

of a second in the 100 metre butterfl y.

He then made the record his own when he helped the

United States 4x100 medley relay team break the world

record to clinch his eighth personal gold.

As if winning eight wasn’t impressive enough [taking his

Olympic career total to 14 gold medals], Phelps broke the

world record in seven of the eight events he swam in Beijing,

four of which he previously held.

Most Swimming Gold Medals, Single Games

Michael Phelps (USA) 8 (Beijing 2008)

Mark Spitz (USA) 7 (Munich 1972)

Michael Phelps (USA) 6 (Athens 2004)

Kristin Otto (GER) 6 (Seoul 1988)

Matt Biondi (USA) 5 (Seoul 1988)

John Naber (USA) 5 (Montreal 1976)

Don Schollander (USA) 4 (Tokyo 1964)

Amy Van Dyken (USA) 4 (Atlanta 1996)

23 swimmers have won 3 Olympic gold medals

Gold Medals at Consecutive Olympics

Aladar Gerevich (HUN) Fencing 6 (1932-1960)

Pal Adam Kovacs (HUN) Fencing 5 (1936-1960)

Sir Steve Redgrave (GB) Rowing 5 (1984-2000)

Birgit Fischer (GER) Kayaking 5 (1988-2004)

Paul Elstom (DEN) Sailing 5 (1948-1960)

Carl Lewis (USA) Athletics/Long Jump 4 (1984- 1996)

Al Oerter (USA) Athletics/ Discus 4 (1956-1968)

Lisa Leslie USA (Basketball) 4 (1996-2008)

Sir Matthew Pinset (GB) Rowing 4 (1992-2004)

Hungarian fencer Aladar Gerevich dominated the sport

in the years immediately before and after

the Second World War with six gold medals

at six consecutive Olympic Games -

a record that hasn’t been surpassed.

But the achievements of Britain’s Steve

Redgrave and Germany’s Birgit Fischer in

the endurance disciplines of rowing and

kayaking deserve special mention.

Redgrave won his fifth gold medal at the

Sydney 2000 Olympic Games aged 38,

while Fischer was aged 42 when she won

gold in Athens 2004.

34 | Issue 18 | Qatar Sport

The fi rst sub-10 second, 100m time in an Olympic fi nal was

recorded by American sprint legend Carl Lewis on winning

gold at the Los Angeles Olympic Games in 1984.

It’s a measure of the progress made in men’s sprinting that

Lewis’ 9.99 seconds in 1984 would have earned him a mere

seventh place in the 100m final at Beijing 2008.

Sprint records have been broken regularly over the last 25

years but the reductions seen since Athens 2004 have been

especially dramatic – and primarily the result of one man’s

extraordinary talent.

To put Usain Bolt’s achievements into perspective, the

Jamaican 100m and 200m world record holder has taken

sprinting to a level that scientists had not expected to see

until 2030.

And there could be more to come.

As Bolt said in the last issue of Qatar Sport: “I want to

defend my Olympic title and become a legend.”

But there are new kids on the bock looking to

unseat the king from his throne, not least his

22-year-old compatriot Yohan Blake, who last year

became the youngest 100m World Champion since

a certain Carl Lewis in 1983.

Men’s 100m Gold Medalists (1972-2008)

Usain Bolt (JAM) 9.69 (Beijing 2008)

Justin Gatlin (USA) 9.85 (Athens 2004)

Maurice Greene (USA) 9.87 (Sydney 2000)

Donovan Bailey (CAN) 9.84 (Atlanta 1996)

Linford Christie (GBR) 9.96 (Barcelona 1992)

Carl Lewis (USA) 9.92 (Seoul 1988)

Carl Lewis (USA) 9.99 (Los Angeles 1984)

Allan Wells (GBR) 10.25 (Moscow 1980)

Hasely Crawford (TRI) 10.06 (Montreal 1976)

Valerie Borzov (USSR) 10.14 (Munich 1972)

Host Country Gold Medals (1972-2008)

China (Beijing 2008)

51 (1st)

Greece (Athens 2004)

6 (15th)

Australia (Sydney 2000)

16 (4th)

United States (Atlanta 1996) 44 (1st)

Spain (Barcelona 1992)

13 (6th)

Korea (Seoul 1988)

12 (4th)

United States (Los Angeles 1984) 83 (1st)

USSR (Moscow 1980))

80 (1st)

Canada (Montreal 1976)

0 (27th)

West Germany (Munich 1972) 13 (4th)

Highest Number of Gold Medals by Country

USA 83 (Los Angeles 1984)

USSR 80 (Moscow 1980)

USA 79 (St Louis 1904)

Unifi ed Team 55 (Seoul 1988)

China 51 (Beijing 2008)

USSR 50 (Munich 1972)

USSR 49 (Montreal 1976)

Unifi ed Team 45 (Barcelona 1992)

USA 45 (Tokyo 1964)

USA 44 (Atlanta 1996)

Qatar Sport | Issue 18 | 35




Olympic broadcasting came of

age at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games,

according to the International Olympic

Committee’s own assessment of

the ground-breaking Games from

the Chinese capital.

These were the fi rst truly digital Games,

the IOC said, harnessing the power and

potential of digital technology to ensure

that more people enjoyed more Olympic

action than ever before.

More than 61,700 hours of dedicated

Beijing 2008 broadcast coverage was aired

globally to 220 countries and territories.

That’s 40 per cent more broadcast

coverage than Athens 2004 and more than

double that of Sydney 2000.

The host broadcaster also delivered

5,000 hours of high-definition coverage

compared to around 400 hours in

Athens 2004.

Another key conclusion of Beijing 2008

was that time zone differences were

becoming less relevant to audiences with

on-demand coverage, both on TV and

online, available worldwide.

Europeans, for example, are key

consumers of the Olympics and the old

continent aired more than one-third of

all broadcast coverage hours from Beijing

despite the time zone difference.

Nevertheless London could see record

audiences (the number of viewers rather

than the hours of coverage aired) for the

Games in Europe.

Research from the sports broadcast

sector analysts SportBusiness Intelligence,

indicates that viewership for the Olympics

in Europe may still fl uctuate depending on

the time zone of the host city.

In Europe’s five largest television

markets –France, Germany, Italy, Spain and

the UK – cumulative audiences in the last

20 years have ranged from a low of 3.4

million for 1998 Nagano Winter Games

in Japan to highs of 11.3 million for Athens

2004 and 11.6 million for Turin 2006.

Whether or not the upcoming London

Olympic Games provides a record

audience in the top European markets

is diffi cult to predict.

Broadcasters will be able to show more

live coverage during primetime due to the

favourable time zone, and there is likely

to be an uplift in viewing in the UK as

the host nation.

In Italy however, coverage will be split

across pay-television broadcaster Sky Italia

and public-service broadcaster Rai. Sky

Italia’s limited penetration will therefore

bring down the average audience in Italy.

In the Middle East market, just two

hours from London, there is also

the fi rm expectation of

record audiences.

Four years ago, the action was distributed

to public broadcasters within the Arab

States Broadcasts Union (ASBU), which

was also awarded the 2012 Olympic

broadcast rights in the Middle East.

The ASBU will air the Games

across all platforms, including TV, cable,

satellite, internet and mobile telephones

throughout the region to an audience

which is increasingly engaged with sport in

terms of both participation and viewership.

And, of course, this year there will

be technical changes to the media

coverage to match Beijing in 2008.

London 2012 has been dubbed as the

“First Social Media Games” but it will also

be the fi rst 3D Games.

The host broadcaster, the BBC, will

broadcast more than 100 hours of 3D action

over the course of the Games, including

the Opening and Closing Ceremonies,

the men’s 100m finals and a wide range

of other events, such as gymnastics,

swimming, basketball and canoeing.

It all adds up to an amazing experience

for armchair viewers around the world

and one, which will be enjoyed by all

members of society.

A profi le of Beijing 2008 indicated

a much more even gender split than is

associated with most sporting events:

53 per cent of the TV audience were

males as opposed to 60 per cent for

many sports.

Research also suggested 45 per cent of

the Games television audience were less

than 45 years old, an encouraging statistic

for the IOC, which is increasingly reaching

out to youth.

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