Doha, 27 February 2023 - Qatar team will be eyeing a spot at the 2024 Paris Olympics at the Doha International Showjumping Championship, which will be held at the Longines Arena at Al Shaqab today and tomorrow. The Olympic qualifier in Doha – organised by the Qatar Equestrian and Modern Pentathlon Federation (QEMPF) – offers two places for teams from Middle East and Africa to join the seven that are already sure of a spot in Paris – hosts France, Sweden, Netherlands, Great Britain, Ireland, Germany and Belgium.
Qatar will be hosting the tournament for the first time in nearly twelve years. The home nation’s hopes rest on Rashid al-Marri, Bassem Hassan Mohamed, Hamad al-Attiyah, Hamad Nasser al-Qadi and Saeed Nasser al-Qadi. The other Middle East teams are Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Syria and the UAE, while Egypt and Morocco will represent Africa in Doha, which is a 4-star category event.
At the end of what is certain to be an electrifying Nations Cup second round with so much at stake, two of those seven nations will be making plans for the Olympics. Two Individual places for athletes from nations that did not qualify are also up for grabs tomorrow.
A strong Egyptian team includes Olympians Nayel Nassar, Mohamed Talaat and Mouda Zeyada, while Morocco again look to Ali al-Ahrach and Abdelkebir Ouaddar.
Saudi Arabia has an exciting team that combines experienced talents in the saddle and thrilling prospects on four legs. Former Asian Games champion Abdullah Alsharbatly and 2012 Olympic medallist Ramzy al-Duhami are joined by Abdulrahman al-Rajhi and Khaled Almobty as they chase a Paris 2024 place.
Qatar’s long-serving coach Jan Tops had said he was optimistic of Qatar’s chances of qualifying for the Olympics.
Qatar finished an impressive ninth in their Olympic debut at the Rio Games in 2018, but failed to qualify for Tokyo four years later. Two members of the Rio squad – al-Attiyah and Bassem – were among five riders who underwent a training camp under Tops in the Netherlands from June.
“The spirit is good in the Qatar squad, but they don’t have so much experience. We have a few new riders in the team. Maybe the trials are coming a bit quick. But I think we’re going to give our very best to try to make a good result,” Tops had said.
“We have tough competitions from many top countries. But let’s see, I want to be optimistic. There are five riders, but only four can compete. The Qatar riders were in the Netherlands with my trainer from May. So let’s see what we can do at the trials. I am very optimistic. We’re going to give our best for sure,” he added.