Qatar at the 2012 Summer Olympics

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Qatar at the
2012 Summer Olympics
Flag of Qatar.svg
IOC code QAT
NOC Qatar Olympic Committee
Website www.olympic.qa/en (in English) (in Arabic)
in London
Competitors 12 in 4 sports
Flag bearer Bahiya Al-Hamad (opening)
Mohammed Bakhet (closing)
Medals
Ranked 75th
Gold
0
Silver
0
Bronze
2
Total
2
Summer Olympics appearances (overview)

Qatar competed at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, which was held from 27 July to 12 August 2012. The country's participation at London marked its eighth appearance in the Summer Olympics since its début at the 1984 Summer Olympics. The delegation sent by the Qatar Olympic Committee consisted of twelve athletes in athletics, shooting, swimming and table tennis. Following the 2008 Summer Olympics, Qatar, along with Saudi Arabia and Brunei, was one of only three countries never have sent a female athlete to the Olympic Games. The country rectified this by sending four female athletes to the Summer Olympics for the first time in history.

Seven of the twelve competitors automatically qualified for their respective events while the remaining five athletes (including all four of its women participants) used wild cards to attain entry into the Games. This was Qatar's most successful Olympics since the 2000 Sydney Games, winning a total of two Olympic medals. Skeet shooter Nasser Al-Attiyah, and high jumper Mutaz Essa Barshim both claimed the bronze medals for the first time in their respective sporting events after taking part in separate shoot-outs.

Background[edit]

Qatar participated in eight Summer Olympic Games between its début at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, United States and the 2012 London Olympics.[1] The highest number of athletes sent by Qatar to a Summer Games is 28 to the 1992 Games.[1] Two Qatari athletes have won medals at the Olympic Games (Mohamed Suleiman and Said Saif Asaad).[1] Qatar participated in the London Summer Games from 27 July to 12 August 2012.[2] Following the 2008 Summer Olympics, Qatar, along with Saudi Arabia and Brunei, was one of only three countries never have sent a female athlete to the Olympic Games. In 2010, however, the Qatar Olympic Committee announced that it "hoped to send up to four female athletes in shooting and fencing" to the 2012 London Olympics.[3][4] The Qatari delegation to London consisted of twelve athletes: athletics competitors Noor Al-Malki, Musaeb Abdulrahman Balla, Mohamad Al-Garni, Hamza Driouch, Mohammed Abduh Bakhet and Mutaz Essa Barshim, shooters Rashid Al-Athba, Nasser Al-Attiyah and Bahiya Al-Hamad, swimmers Ahmed Atari and Nada Arkaji and table tennis player Aya Majdi.[2] These London Games marked the first time Qatar sent female athletes to an Olympics.[5][6] Al-Hamad was selected to be the flag bearer for the opening ceremony,[7] while Bakhet carried it at the closing ceremony.[8]

Medallists[edit]

Medal Name Sport Event Date
 Bronze Nasser Al-Attiyah Shooting Men's skeet 31 July
 Bronze Mutaz Essa Barshim Athletics Men's high jump 7 August

Athletics[edit]

Mutaz Essa Barshim (pictured in 2011) won the bronze medal for Qatar in the men's high jump.

20 year old Mohamed Al-Garni had not taken part in any other previous Olympic Games so the London Games marked his Olympic debut.[9] Al-Garni qualified for the Games by meeting the qualification standards for the men's 1500 metres; his fastest time of three minutes and 34.61 seconds, set at the 2011 Pan Arab Games, was 0.89 seconds faster than the "A" qualifying standard.[10][11] Al-Garni was drawn in the first heat on 3 August, finishing fifth out of fifteen runners, with a time of three minutes and 36.99 seconds. The time was fast enough to enable his progression into the semi-finals that took place two days later.[12] There, he finished ninth in the second heat, achieving a time of three minutes and 36.78 seconds. Overall, he ranked 14th out of 45 athletes,[n 1] and did not advance into the final because he was 1.34 seconds slower than the slowest competitor from his heat who progressed to the final.[12]

The 2012 London Games marked 24 year old Mohammed Bakhet's Olympic debut.[13] He got qualification for the Games by meeting qualifying standards because his best time of two hours, 12 minutes and 14 seconds, recorded at the 2012 Dubai Marathon, was two minutes and 46 seconds faster than the "A" qualifying standard for the men's marathon.[11][14] Mohammad Solaiman, a board member of the Qatar Amateur Athletics Federation, stated Bakhet was "ready" to compete and added the bronze medal would motivate him to perform better.[15] He competed in the 12 August competition, finishing 68th out of 85 runners,[n 2] with a time of two hours, 25 minutes and 17 seconds. Bakhet finished 17 minutes and two seconds behind Stephen Kiprotich of Uganda (two hours, eight minutes and one second), the winner of the marathon.[16] After the Games, he spoke of the disappointment he felt over his performance but said he hoped to use his experience to better prepare for future races.[17]

Musaeb Abdulrahman Balla also made his Olympic debut at the 2012 Games at the age of 23.[18] He earned automatic qualification for the men's 800 metres because his fastest time of one minute and 45.19 seconds, set at the 2012 Qatar Athletic Super Grand Prix, was 0.41 seconds faster than the "A" qualifying standard for his event.[11][19] Balla was drawn to run in the second heat of the first round on 6 August, coming second out of eight runners, with a time of one minute and 46.37 seconds. His effort was fast enough to advance him into the semi-finals that took place the day after.[20] There, Balla participated in heat two, finishing seventh out of eight athletes, with a time of one minute and 47.52 seconds.[21] This time put him 21st overall but it did not progress him into the final as only the top eight qualified to participate in that stage of the competition.[n 3][20]

Noor Al-Malki was the first Qatari woman to compete in athletics competition at the Olympics but she pulled her right hamstring at the start of the third heat in the women's 100 metres.

Hamza Driouch debuted at the Olympic Games and was the youngest Qatari male athlete at the London Olympics at the age of 17.[22] He attained qualification for the men's 1500 metres because his best time during the qualification period was three minutes and 33.69 seconds during the 2012 Qatar Athletic Super Grand Prix which was one second faster than the "A" qualifying standard.[11][22] On 3 August, organisers drew Driouch to partake in the second heat, where he finished second out of fourteen finishers, with a time of three minutes and 67 seconds. His time allowed him to automatically progress into the contest's semi-final.[12] There, Driouch ran in heat one but his performance dropped and placed eleventh out of twelfth runners, with a three minutes and 49.40 seconds time. That put him 24th overall and he failed to enter the final since his effort was not good enough for the top eight.[12]

At the time of the 2012 Summer Olympics, Mutaz Essa Barshim was 20 years old and the London Games marked his Olympic debut.[23] Because his best mark of 2.35 metres was set at the 2011 Asian Athletics Championships in Kobe, he automatically qualified for the men's high jump since it was 0.04 metres over the "A" qualifying standard.[11][24] Barshim was drawn to compete in Qualifying Group A on 5 August. His best height cleared was 2.26 metres on his second try, placing him joint eighth in Qualifying Group B. Barshim's result advanced him to compete for a top twelve placing in the 7 August final.[n 4][25] Six athletes, including Barshim, all tied for a mark of 2.29 metres after missing the 2.33 metres mark, and the final result of the high jump was decided by a count-back. This gave Barshim the bronze medal which he tied with Robbie Grabarz of Great Britain and Derek Drouin of Canada.[26]

17 year old Noor Al-Malki was the first of two woman athletes announced to be competing on Qatar's behalf in February 2012.[27] She received a wild card invitation from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to compete at the Olympics after not meeting the qualifying standards of the women's 100 metres.[27][28] Noor was the first Qatari woman to run in athletics at the Summer Olympics.[29] In an interview with The Guardian before the Games Noor spoke of her surprise over being selected and she sought to promote women's sport in Qatar, "It was a shock, but it was also a source of immense happiness and pride. It is the dream of every athlete in Qatar, and I will be taking that with me."[30] She was assigned with seven other runners in the third heat on 3 August.[31] Out of the starting blocks, Noor pulled her right hamstring and fell onto the track. She was transported out of the stadium in a wheelchair by officials.[32][33] Noor was listed as a non finisher of the women's 100 metres.[31]

Key
  • Note–Ranks given for track events are within the athlete's heat only
  • Q = Qualified for the next round
  • q = Qualified for the next round as a fastest loser or, in field events, by position without achieving the qualifying target
  • NR = National record
  • N/A = Round not applicable for the event

Men
Track & road events
Athlete Event Heat Semifinal Final
Result Rank Result Rank Result Rank
Mohamad Al-Garni 1500 m 3:39.67 5 Q 3:36.78 9 Did not advance
Mohammed Abduh Bakhet Marathon N/A 2:25:17 68
Musaeb Abdulrahman Balla 800 m 1:46.37 2 Q 1:47.52 7 Did not advance
Hamza Driouch 1500 m 3:39.67 2 Q 3:49.40 11 Did not advance
Field events
Athlete Event Qualification Final
Distance Position Distance Position
Mutaz Essa Barshim High jump 2.26 =8 q 2.29 3rd, bronze medalist(s)
Women
Track & road events
Athlete Event Heat Quarterfinal Semifinal Final
Result Rank Result Rank Result Rank Result Rank
Noor Al-Malki 100 m DNF Did not advance

Shooting[edit]

Nasser Al-Attiyah (pictured in 2012) claimed the bronze medal in the men's skeet shooting competition.

Rashid Al-Athba was 31 years old at the time of the London Games. He previously represented Qatar at the 2004 Summer Olympics.[34] Al-Athba qualified for the Olympics due to his performance at the 2012 Asian Shooting Championships.[35] He entered seven competitions and went to several training camps to prepare for the Games.[36] On 2 August Al-Athba competed in the qualification round of the men's double trap. He finished seventh out of 23 shooters who completed the round with a score 136.[n 5] Al-Athba scored one point less than Håkan Dahlby of Sweden and Richárd Bognár of Hungary who were the two lowest final qualifying scorers and therefore he was eliminated at the qualifying round.[37] Three days later, he partook in the qualification round of the men's trap. Al-Athba placed tenth out of 34 shooters with a score of 121 points. He scored one point less than Croatia's Giovanni Cernogoraz and Anton Glasnović who were the lowest qualifying shooters and he was eliminated from the event.[38]

At the age of 41, rally driver Nasser Al-Attiyah was competing in his fifth consecutive Olympic Games.[39] He qualified to compete in the men's skeet because his gold medal victory in that competition at the 2012 Asian Shooting Championships earned him automatic qualification for the Games.[40] Al-Attiyah entered seven contests and visited several training camps to prepare himself for the Olympics.[36] The qualification round of the men's skeet took place on 31 July. He came fourth out of thirty-six shooters with a score of 121 points. This score earned Al-Attiyah automatic qualification for the final that was held on the next day.[41] He held the bronze medal position until he missed two of his targets and entered a shoot-out against Russia's Valeriy Shomin. Al-Attiyah won the shoot-out and the bronze medal after Shomin missed his sixth target.[42] It was Qatar's third Olympic medal in history and the first since Said Saif Asaad in men's weightlifting at the 2000 Sydney Games.[43]

Bahiya Al-Hamad was the third woman to be confirmed as part of the Qatari team to London in April 2012. She qualified for the women's 10 metre air rifle and the 50 metre rifle three positions events after the IOC gave her a qualifying berth.[44][45] In an interview with CNN before the Games Al-Hamad said, "Every athlete's dream is to reach the Olympics. I will be very excited to go see the atmosphere there and it will sure be one the most special days of my life."[46] She became the first Qatari woman to participate at the Olympics when she took part in the qualifying round of the women's 10 metre air rifle competition on 28 August.[47] Al-Hamad came 17th out of 55 participants scored 395 points. Since only the top eight shooters advanced to the final, that was the end of her competition.[48] Six days later in the women's 50 metre rifle three positions contest, Al-Hamad came last out of 46 finishing shooters with a score of 555 points and was eliminated from competing.[n 6][49]

Men
Athlete Event Qualification Final
Points Rank Points Rank
Rashid Al-Athba Trap 121 10 Did not advance
Double trap 136 7 Did not advance
Nasser Al-Attiyah Skeet 121 4 144 S/O 6 3rd, bronze medalist(s)
Women
Athlete Event Qualification Final
Points Rank Points Rank
Bahiya Al-Hamad 50 m rifle 3 positions 555 46 Did not advance
10 m air rifle 395 17 Did not advance

Swimming[edit]

Ahmed Atari attracted media attention for his performance in the men's 400 metre individual medley competition.

Ahmed Atari was 18 years old at the time of the London Olympics and he made his first appearance in the Summer Games.[50] He qualified for the men's 400 metre individual medley by using a universality place from swimming's governing body FINA because his personal best time of five minutes and 16.80 seconds, set at the 2011 World Aquatics Championships, was 48.36 seconds slower than the "B" (FINA/Invitation) qualifying standard for his event.[51][52] Atari was assigned to compete against four other swimmers in heat one on 28 July.[53] He could not remain underwater for more than half of the first fifteen metres and was distanced by the nearest swimmer a third of the way through. Atari continued to struggle for the rest of the heat but he was applauded by the crowd.[54] His time of five minutes and 21.30 seconds put him last overall and he was not allowed to progress to the final since only the top eight could advance to that stage.[n 7][53] Afterwards Atari was dubbed "Atari the Qatari" and the media compared his performance to that of Equatorial Guinea's Eric Moussambani's at the 2000 Sydney Olympics.[55][56]

Nada Arkaji was confirmed as Qatar's sole female swimmer in London in February 2012.[27] She received a wild card invitation from the IOC to compete at the Olympics after not meeting the "B" (FINA/Invitation) qualifying standard of the women's 50 metres freestyle.[27][28] Arkaji prepared for the Games by training for two hours per day at the Aspire Zone.[57] She said in an interview with Reuters four months before the Games that she sought to lower her personal best below 30 seconds and she wanted to encourage women in Qatar to take up sporting activities,[57] "I always try my best in swimming. I always try to get my personal best. So I think that I have all the potential to reach the top."[58] Arkaji took part in the third heat on 3 August, finishing fourth out of eight athletes, with a time of 30.89 seconds. This placed her 58th overall and that was the end of her competition because only the top sixteen progressed to the semi-finals.[n 8][59]

Men
Athlete Event Heat Final
Time Rank Time Rank
Ahmed Atari 400 m individual medley 5:21.30 36 Did not advance
Women
Athlete Event Heat Semifinal Final
Time Rank Time Rank Time Rank
Nada Arkaji 50 m freestyle 30.89 58 Did not advance

Table tennis[edit]

Egyptian-born Aya Majdi was 18 years old at the time of the London Summer Games and was announced as a competitor for Qatar at these Games in June 2012. She was permitted to qualify for the Olympic Games by the IOC who invited her to compete by handing her a wild card place in the women's table tennis singles tournament.[60] Majdi spoke of her pride over being chosen to represent Qatar but vowed to qualify on Merit for the Rio Summer Olympics in 2016.[61] She was drawn to compete against Zhang Mo of China in the preliminary round on 28 July. Mo beat Majdi in all four of the game's sets 11-3, 11-7, 11-6 and 11-3 to enable her advancement into the first round. Hence Majdi's defeat caused her to end her tournament prematurely. After the match, she stated that competing the game allowed her to broaden her experience.[62]

Athlete Event Preliminary round Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Round 4 Quarterfinals Semifinals Final / BM
Opposition
Result
Opposition
Result
Opposition
Result
Opposition
Result
Opposition
Result
Opposition
Result
Opposition
Result
Opposition
Result
Rank
Aya Majdi Women's singles  Zhang M (CAN)
L 0–4
Did not advance

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Two athletes, Teshome Dirirsa and Amine Laâlou did not start.[12]
  2. ^ Twenty athletes did not finish.[16]
  3. ^ Three athletes were disqualified, and one did not start.[20]
  4. ^ Three jumpers did not set a mark.[25]
  5. ^ One shooter, Sergio Piñero, was unable to finish.[37]
  6. ^ One shooter, Alethea Sedgman, failed to start.[49]
  7. ^ One athlete, Taki Mrabet, did not start.[53]
  8. ^ One swimmer, Eszter Dara, did not start.[59]

References[edit]

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