POSTED: May 16th 2012
Doha 2020: More Qatari women for London 2012?
AJU GEORGE CHRIS / Doha Stadium Plus
May 16 - The announcement of Candidate Cities bidding for the 2020 Olympics is due next Wednesday and Qatar, whose capital city Doha is one of the bidders, is trying to gain entry for yet another woman athlete at the 2012 London Games in July-August.
Buoyed by the appreciation it got for its efforts to field three women athletes for the first time, Qatar is making serious efforts to add a fourth– table tennis player Aya Majdi – to its London contingent.
Shooter Bahiya Mansour Al Hamad, sprinter Noor Al Malki and swimmer Nada Mohammed Wafa Arakji, have all got wild card entries to the London Games.
It is learnt that Aya, who won three gold medals — singles, doubles and team — at the 2010 GCC Championship in Doha, is likely to be given the only Tripartite Commission Invitation place in London.
According to the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) qualification system, the Tripartite Commission Invitation (wild card) is meant to strengthen the principle of universal representation at the Games.
Such invites are normally sent to countries who have not been able to field a certain number of women in the last two Games. No Qatari woman has either qualified or got a wild card entry for an Olympics till today.
As such Qatar is entitled for a few wild card entries and it is learnt that the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) is keen to support the country.
Qatar Olympic Committee Secretary General Sheikh Saoud bin Abdulrahman Al Thani said efforts were on to get more berths for women at the London Games, but did not confirm Aya’s participation.
“Efforts are on to make that happen, but we haven’t got the official nod yet,” Sheikh Saoud told Doha Stadium Plus on Wednesday, on the sidelines of the season-ending ceremony of the Qatar Basketball Federation.
“Over the years, we’ve built a strong relationship with the ITTF. They’re very supportive of our bid to field a Qatari woman table tennis player in London. However, it’s the IOC that has to take a final decision which is expected this week. We’re quite hopeful it will be positive,” said a Qatar Table Tennis Association official, who did not wish to be named.
Qatar Women’s Sport Committee President Ahlam Al Mana expressed her delight over the development.
“We’ll make history this year by fielding three to four women competitors in London. Aya is our best table tennis player and we hope she too can participate at the Games. It’ll provide a huge boost not only for women’s sports in Qatar, but also in the entire region,” she said.
For more information contact:
Laura Walden ()
All original materials contained in this section are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Sports Features Communications, Inc the owner of that content. It is prohibited to alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content.