With only one week to go before the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) elects a host city for the 2030 Asian Games, top Qatari athletes are expressing their support for the Doha.
Two-time Asian Games gold medalist, two-time Olympic medalist and two-time high-jump World Champion, Mutaz Essa Barshim is among those stars who are throwing their support behind the national bid.
He said “one of my first ever senior competitions was the Guangzhou 2010 Asian Games and I will never forget what an honor it was to live side-by-side with my Asian brothers and sisters.”
“I have had the privilege of competing in Doha on many occasions, notably last year during the World Athletics Championships, and international athletes always tell me what an amazing place it is to compete.
“It has some of the best venues and training facilities in the world and you always know the service and support for athletes will be world-class.”
Asian Games gold medalist and Olympic bronze medalist in shooting Nasser Al Attiyah competed in Doha’s first Asian Games staged in 2006.
“I had the honor of competing in Doha 2006 and the atmosphere of celebration and unity I experienced during the Games still lives with me,” he said.
“It was not my most successful Asian Games, but it was one that provides some of my fondest memories. Since then I have seen how Doha has made significant investment into sport and hosted hundreds of sports events, training camps and more.”
A host of international Qatari sports stars have expressed their full support for Doha’s bid to host a 2030 Asian Games that will deliver an inclusive and magical experience for athletes and all members of the OCA family.#Doha2030 #YourGateway pic.twitter.com/OjwV1vm1bP
— Doha 2030 (@agdoha2030) December 9, 2020
Nada Arkaji was Qatar’s first-ever female Olympian in swimming, she said “it has been an honor to be involved in the Doha 2030 bid and ensure that athletes are at the very center of the bid’s plans. We want to make sure athletes have everything they need to be able to achieve their dreams in Doha.”
“We know what an important role sport plays in helping to drive positive social change and as a female Olympian in Qatar, I myself have seen first-hand how powerful sport is in changing attitudes.
“Women’s sport is stronger than ever here and only on the rise.”
Doha’s bid has been positioned as a national priority and a key component of long-term plans.
The Qatari capital is battling against regional rival Saudi Arabia and its capital Riyadh for the right to host the Games – and national pride. The two neighboring nations have been at diplomatic odds since 2017, and Saudi Arabia has yet to stage an Asian Games, and has also claimed its bid is of national importance.
The close competition will be resolved in Muscat, Oman on December 16 during the OCA General Assembly.