POSTED: December 26th 2012

NewsUpdate

Qatar: 2012 was a blaze of glory for sports

(L to R) Seasoned shooter Nasser Saleh Al Attiyah and debutant high jumper Mutaz Essa Barshim won bronze medals at the London Games / Doha Stadium Plus
(L to R) Seasoned shooter Nasser Saleh Al Attiyah and debutant high jumper Mutaz Essa Barshim won bronze medals at the London Games / Doha Stadium Plus

DOHA STADIUM PLUS

December 26 - When the time came, the aim was unwavering and no bar was too high for Qatari sportspersons, who gave the country ample reasons to cheer at the London Olympics.

While four women blazed a pathbreaking trail at the Games, experienced shooter Nasser Saleh Al Attiyah and debutant high jumper Mutaz Essa Barshim won bronze medals to walk into Qatar’s sports folklore.

In a way, it was a fitting result, and truly deserving too. While a medal for Nasser — a veteran of five Olympic Games — was long overdue, Mutaz represented a new breed of self-assured youngsters coming up through the ranks. The 21-year-old, a product of the ASPIRE Academy, was already the reigning Asian and Asian Games champion.

But long before the duo took their stances, history of a different kind, sure to have long-term implications, had already been made.

Shooter Bahiya Mansour Al Hamad, who was also Qatar’s flag-bearer, sprinter Noor Al Malki, swimmer Nada Mohammad Wafa Arakji and table tennis player Aya Majdi received loud cheers as the country’s first female representatives at the Games. Their mere presence in the contingent was a sign that Qatar was willing to embrace sweeping changes.

In fact, women’s development through sports was one of the main planks on which Qatar built its aspirations and bid for the 2020 Olympic Games. Several path-breaking initiatives had also been announced.

However, despite putting up a much stronger file than it did for the ’16 Games, Doha, along with Azerbaijan capital Baku, failed to be selected as a Candidate City. Istanbul (Turkey), Madrid (Spain) and Tokyo (Japan) made it.

But that has not discouraged the country from trying again. Qatar Olympic Committee Secretary General Sheikh Saoud bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, who was also the vice-chairperson of Doha’s Bid, said they would not give up.

“The Olympics isn’t a dream we should no longer have. We’ll reach that target one day. It can still become a reality if you try and try. South Korean city of Pyeongchang tried thrice (for the Winter Games) before beating Germany’s Munich in the ’18 race. You’ve to believe in your objectives and how sports can play a role,” he said.

Even if Qatar’s organisational dreams suffered a setback, the country should take heart from the performances of its athletes in London.

Despite fielding its youngest-ever squad, several of them gave a good account of themselves. That should bode well for the young nation’s future.

The opening of the Anti-Doping Laboratory Qatar, the first specialised facility of its kind in West Asia, also proved to be another important feather in the country’s cap.

Meanwhile, on the domestic front, Al Rayyan displayed their proficiency in different sports. They won the League and Heir Apparent’s Cup in handball in addition to the GCC and Asian titles.

The basketball side emerged as victorious in the League. Their footballers were runners-up to Al Sadd in the Emir’s Cup.

Al Arabi were dominant in volleyball. The Asian champions won the Federation Cup, Qatar League and Heir Apparent’s Cup. But a loss to Rayyan in the Emir’s Cup final prevented them from making a clean sweep of domestic titles.

JANUARY

German football clubs Bayern Munich and Schalke, and French giants Paris Saint-Germain hold their winter camp in Doha.

Al Sadd defeat German club Schalke in a football friendly played in honour of former captain Mohammed Gholam.

Qatar-owned French football club Paris Saint-Germain win the inaugural Al Kass International Cup for Under-17 at the Aspire Academy ground.

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga emerges as the champion in the Qatar ExxonMobil Open tennis championship after favourites Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal fail to reach the final.

Qatar hosts the 12th Asian Shooting Championships.

The Aspire Zone Foundation, the Middle East’s premier sports city, is voted the world’s Leading Sports Tourism Development Project for the first time at the World Travel Awards.

Sven-Goran Eriksson urges FIFA to host the 2022 World Cup in January as the Swede believed hosting it in summer would badly affect the performance of the players.

Qatar hosts the first conference on “Women and Sport: From Past to Future” at the Museum of Islamic Art.

 FEBRUARY

Host nation’s Abdulaziz Al Kuwari capitalises on compatriot Nasser Saleh Al Attiyah’s misfortunes and wins the Qatar Rally.

German cyclist Judith Arndt wins the Ladies Tour of Qatar.

Scot Paul Lawrie regains the Qatar Masters golf title.

The country’s skeet shooters enjoy a sensational run in the Qatar Open at the Losail Shooting Range, with men making a clean sweep of titles, and women finishing second and third.

The Qatar Motor and Motorcycle Federation Racing Team signs Elena Rossell as one of the two new riders for the FIM Moto2 World Championship series.

Former Qatar Volleyball League champions Al Rayyan appoint Bahri Mohammed as coach.

Qatar narrowly lose to South Korea in the final of the 15th Asian Handball Championship in Jeddah, but qualify for the 2013 World Championship in Spain.

Qatar organises inaugural National Sports Day on
February 14.

The Doha 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games Bid Committee submits its Applicant File to the International Olympic Committee.

Belgian cyclist Tom Boonen wins the 11th Tour of Qatar.

In a repeat of the previous two editions, Chinese paddlers make a clean sweep of titles at the Qatar Open Table Tennis Championships.

Qatar’s Aya Majdi and Maha Abdul Riida win team table tennis gold at the inaugural Arab Women Sports Tournament in Sharjah.

Three women fencers do Italy proud by finishing among the top four in the Qatar Epee World Cup.

Qatar announces its plans to set up a women’s high-performance training centre.

Qatar appoints Paulo Autuori as the national football team coach.

The Qatar Women’s Sport Committee, in association with the Qatar Football Association, announces its decision to launch the Women’s League.

In a move to further enhance the football League’s popularity among nationals and expatriates, the Qatar Stars League Management comes up with a new initiative ‘Qatar United’.

Belarusian tennis star Victoria Azarenka displays resilience to defeat Australian Samantha Stosur and lift the Qatar Total Open trophy.

Hosts’ Mohammed Al Mohannadi and Jassim Al Sulaiti clinch the 470 title at the Qatar International Regatta.

Al Rayyan record their 15th Qatar Basketball League triumph after getting the better of Al Sadd.

With a rich haul of seven gold, three silver and as many bronze medals, Qatari gymnasts emerge as champions in the senior category of the GCC Championship in Kuwait.

Qatar hold Iran to a 2-2 draw in Tehran and qualify for the final round of the 2014 FIFA World Cup Asian Zone qualification.

MARCH

Al Wakrah win the Qatar Stars Cup football by edging Al Kharaitiyat in sudden death and thus end their title drought of more than a decade.

The Qatar 2022 Supreme Committee updates a nine-member FIFA delegation on various development activities, which should form pillars of strength in the country’s hosting of the World Cup.

Egypt international Ahmed Hassan becomes the most capped footballer in the world when he won his 179th cap against Kenya in an international friendly in Doha.

The spectacular staging of the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East under lights for the first time in its history adds another feather to Losail’s cap.

Ace Qatari driver Saadon Al Kuwari wins the overall title in the intermediate class for Michelin Silver Trophy in the Porsche Cup as well as the fourth round of the Qatar National Road Racing Championship.

The Al Shahania Stud’s horses sweep the top four places in the prestigious HH The Emir’s Sword at the Qatar Racing and Equestrian Club.

ASPIRE Academy product Abdullah Al Tamimi wins the Under-19 singles title at the Qatar Junior Open squash tournament.

Tottenham Hotspur Chairman Daniel Levy, on his visit to Doha, says he is sure Qatar will do a fantastic job in hosting the World Cup in 2022.

Qatar’s Under-19 boys finish runners-up in the 10th International Friendly Football Tournament.

Al Rayyan defeat Saudi Arabia’s Al Ahli in the final to clinch the GCC Handball Championship in Kuwait.

Al Gharafa fire former Qatar national football team coach Bruno Metsu as coach.

Al Arabi rope in Frenchman Pierre Lechantre as their football team coach.

The Qatar Under-23 football team ends its group campaign in the 2012 London Olympics qualification on an unbeaten note.

South Africa 2010 FIFA World Cup CEO Danny Jordaan says ’22 host Qatar is on the right track in terms of preparations.

Qatar’s Amir Bayoumy wins the men’s singles title of the Fourth Qatar Tennis Federation Open Tournament.

Lekhwiya defend the Qatar Stars League football title.

Al Arabi win the Heir Apparent’s Cup basketball title.

Gateway Hockey Club cap a dream season by getting the better of Shabab Qatar in the Qatar League final.

APRIL 

Qatar lose both matches to Oman in the two-Test hockey series for the Gulf Cup.

Abdullah Al Tamimi wins Qatar Closed Squash Championship title, beating compatriot Abdulrahman Al Malki in the final.

Qatar finish fourth at the GCC Cycling Championships.

Petros Chrysochos wins the Second Qatar International Tennis Federation Junior Open.

Spaniard Jorge Lorenzo notches his maiden win at the Losail International Circuit as the 1,000cc era in MotoGP gets off to a terrific start.

Edwina Tops-Alexander begins her Global Champions Tour showjumping title defence with a victory in the Qatar leg.

Striker Saleh Bader does the star turn as Qatar trounce Tunisia in a crucial match and lift the inaugural ASPIRE Under-19 Cup football.

Qatar beat Brazil 4-1 in the five-match hockey Test series against Brazil.

Al Sadd wins the Emir’s Cup in basketball, beating Al Rayyan in the final.

Qatar’s Nasser Saleh Al Attiyah wins the Sealine Cross-Country Rally.

Al Sadd win the Qatar Association of Athletics Federation’s Shield for Seniors and Girls.

Qatar go down fighting to the UAE in the play-off stage of the Davis Cup Asia-Oceania Zone tennis tie.

MAY

Al Rayyan produce a fine team game to edge Al Sadd and regain the Heir Apparent’s Cup in football after a gap of 11 years.

Al Rayyan regain handball League title after a one-year gap.

Bahrain win the inaugural GCC Under-15 schools volleyball tournament, beating Saudi Arabia in the final. Hosts Qatar finish sixth.

The Qatar Women’s Basketball League is launched.

India’s Aditya Mehta beats compatriot Pankaj Advani to clinch the Asian Snooker Championships.

Abdullah Al Tamimi finishes second in the GCC Squash Championships held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Al Arabi win Qatar Volleyball title for a record 24th time.

Aspetar, Qatar’s orthopaedic and sports medicine hospital celebrates its fifth anniversary.

The Qatar rubgy team retains the HSBC Asian Five Nations Championship Division Four title in Dubai.

Qatari shooter Mohammed Haq wins the men’s 10M running target mixed event at the 43rd Grand Prix of Liberation in the Czech Republic.

Al Sadd win the Emir’s Cup in athletics.

Al Gharafa make an incredible achievement by defeating Al Sadd in the Emir’s Cup football final and thereby qualify for the AFC Champions League.

Justin Gatlin and Allyson Felix win the 100M events at the IAAF Diamond League in Doha.

Al Rayyan regain the Gulf Clubs Basketball Championship, beating Bahrain’s Al Hala in the final.
El Jaish win the Emir’s Cup in handball.

Qatar wins three gold, four silver and three bronze medals at the Arab Junior Athletics Championships in Amman, Jordan.

Al Arabi regain the Heir Apparent’s Cup volleyball title after defeating surprise package Al Ahli in the final.

Alexander Cudlin wins the Qatar International Road Racing Championship for bikes.

Al Rayyan regain the Emir’s Cup in table tennis after a two-year gap.

JUNE 

Sebastian Soria scores the winner as Qatari footballers beat Lebanon to start their final-round campaign in the Asian Zone World Cup qualification on a winning note.

The Al Sadd spikers retain the Qatar Junior Cup by defeating Al Ahli in the final.

Goalkeeper Qasim Burhan comes up with a series of brilliant saves as Qatar hold formidable Iran goalless in the FIFA World Cup Asian Zone qualification.

Al Rayyan regain the Emir’s Cup in volleyball after shocking defending champions Al Arabi in the final.

Qatar Endurance Racing Team 95 make a smooth transition from sprint events to win the Superstock category in the Endurance World Championship.

Junior athletes do Qatar proud by winning four gold and a bronze medals at the Asian Championships in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

Qatari juniors finish a creditable second at the International Four-Nation Handball Friendly Tournament in Doha.

Nasser Saleh Al Attiyah wins silver at the Grand Prix of France shooting competition.

JULY

Qatar Billiards and Snooker Federation General Secretary Mohammed Salem Al Nuaimi gets elected to the World Pool-Billiard Association’s Executive Committee.

Qatari trampoline gymnasts Fatima Salem Abdullah and Nadeen Wahdan win team gold at the Jannie Jansen International Championships in Pretoria, South Africa.

Al Sadd emerge as champions in the Qatar Olympic Committee’s Water Sports Tournament for children.

American Dave Villwock, in the U-1 Spirit of Qatar, begins his title defence of the Air National Guard H1 Hydroplane Series with a win at the Lucas Oil Indiana Governor’s Cup in Madison, the US.

Al Rayyan finish fourth after losing 1-4 to Japan’s Nagoya Oceans at the AFC Clubs Championship in Kuwait City.

Al Arabi beat China’s Shanghai Tangdynasty to be crowned Asian champions and thus qualify for the FIVB Club World Championship.

Brazilian World Cup footballer Nilmar joins Heir Apparent’s Cup holders Al Rayyan.

Qatar retain the Asian junior handball title in style, beating South Korea in the final at home.

Hammer thrower Ashraf Amjad Mohammed sets a new world record en route to gold at the IAAF World Junior Championships in Barcelona, Spain.

Qatar beat hosts Oman in beach handball to finish seventh in the biennial World Championships and thus qualify for the quadrennial World Games, to be held in Cali, Colombia, in 2013.

Dave Villwock, in the U-1 Spirit of Qatar, claims a second successive victory, at the APBA Gold Cup on Detroit River.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport lifts FIFA’s life ban on ex-AFC chief Mohammed bin Hammam in the alleged cash-for-votes scandal.

AUGUST

Shooter Bahiya Mansour Al Hamad carries the Qatari flag at the Opening Ceremony of the London Olympic Games. She finishes 17th in the 10M air rifle event.

Ace skeet shooter Nasser Saleh Al Attiyah earns a shoot-out win against Russia’s Valeriy Shomin to clinch bronze at the London Games. It was Qatar’s first Olympic medal in 12 years.

Young high jumper Mutaz Essa Barshim wins Qatar’s second bronze at the London Games.

Al Rayyan send a strong warning to their rivals by winning the season-opening Sheikh Jassim Cup in football.

Qatar finish fourth in the inaugural International Junior Friendly Volleyball Tournament at home.

Mutaz jumps a personal best of 2.39M to win gold at the Lausanne Diamond League meet.

SEPTEMBER

Hosts Al Sadd finish third at the IHF Handball Super Globe, behind Spain’s Atletico Madrid and Germany’s THW Kiel.

The Qatar Under-17 volleyball team finishes fourth at the GCC Youth Championship in Abu Dhabi, the UAE.

The Qatar youth handball team beats Japan to retain the Asian Championship title in Bahrain.

Qatar wins the right to host cycling’s 2016 Road World Championships.

The Qatar basketball team clinches bronze at the FIBA Asia Cup in Tokyo, Japan, beating the Philippines.

Qatari karatekas win four bronze medals to finish sixth overall in the International Championship at home.

OCTOBER

The Fifth Schools Olympic Programme opens at the Qatar Sports Club.

Abdullah Al Jufari beats Jassim Al Zeyara in the Under-18 boys’ final of the Qatar Tennis Federation’s inaugural National Junior Tournament.

ASPIRE Academy boys (Under-15 and U-12) beat Wolverhampton Wanderers in a friendly football series.

Qatar win the inaugural GCC Military Championship in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Qatari shooter Ali Rashid Al Mohannadi sets a national record in the 50M rifle prone.

Qatar clinch the GCC basketball title in Bahrain.

Qatar bag seven medals, including a gold, four silver and two bronze, at the Sail Qatar.

Olympian Bahiya Mansour Al Hamad wins the 50M rifle three positions at the Losail Shooting Range to start the domestic season with a bang.

Qatari Waleed Al Sharshani wins the runabout super stock title in the first round of the Qatar Marine Sports Federation’s International Jet Ski Championship.

November

The third edition of the Aspire4Sport Congress and Expo attracts leading sports personalities from across the world.

Qatar’s Nasser Saleh Al Attiyah wins for the 10th time in Cyprus to put himself firmly in contention for an eighth Middle East Rally Championship crown.

Qatar international Mohammed Ahmed Al Rumaihi wins the men’s trap event at the Qatar Shooting and Archery Association’s Cup competition.

The Qatar Women’s Sport Committee organises the FIFA Under-14 Girls’ Festival at the Qatar Sports Club.

Qatari racer Ameer Al Baker wins the fourth round of the National Sprint championship at the Losail International Circuit.

Skeet shooter Masoud Saleh Hamad Al Athba scores a

perfect-25 in the final round to win the Qatar Shooting and Archery Association’s Cup.

Qatar Marine Sports Federation President Sheikh Hassan bin Jabor Al Thani and Briton Steve Curtis clinch the Superboat Unlimited title in the Key West World Championships.

Qatar’s Al Rayyan edge the UAE’s Al Ahli to win the Asian Clubs’ Handball League Championship.

Qatar’s Waleed Al Sharshani completes a thrilling double in the final round of the Qatar Marine Sports Federation’s International Jet Ski Championship.

Qatar Motor and Motorcycle Federation Racing Team’s riders Nasser Al Malki and Saeed Al Sulaiti finish 11th and 19th respectively at the final round of the Spanish CEV Championship in Valencia.

El Jaish win the season-opening Federation Cup in volleyball.

December

Qatar’s Nasser Saleh Al Attiyah wins in Dubai to annex his eighth Middle East Rally Championship crown.

Qatar Team’s Alex Carella retains his UIM F1 H20 World Championship title at the 21st Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi.

The Seashore Group becomes a major partner of the Qatar Basketball Federation.

Qatar hosts the Doha Goals Forum.

The Anti-Doping Laboratory Qatar, the first specialised facility of its kind in West Asia, is inaugurated in Doha.

Qatar Squash Federation’s 6.8M-long racquet, which is made of aluminium and fibreglass, enters the Guinness book of World records.

The journal of the International Centre for Sport Security, the Doha-based not-for-profit institution, is launched.

Saleh Al Kaabi wins the professional category of the 14th Qatargas Golf Open in Doha.

Sheikh Hassan bin Jabor Al Thani and Briton Steve Curtis wins at the Emirates Dubai Duty Free Grand Prix, the first race in the penultimate round of the UIM Class 1 World Powerboat Championship.

Ahmed Rashed and Abdullah Al Juffairy reign supreme in the Under-18 category of the ExxonMobil Qatar Youth Nationals tennis tournament.

George Mikhalides-trained Al Mujahaz wins the Qatar National Day Trophy, the highlight of the 17th race meeting at the Qatar Racing and Equestrian Club.

Qatar’s Bashar Hussein clinches the singles gold and teams up with Ali Al Obaidly to win the doubles at the 9-Ball Pool event of the Eighth GCC Championship in Dubai.

FIFA imposes a second life ban on leading foiotball figure Mohammed bin Hammam.

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