In a groundbreaking moment for the world of yo-yoing and Arab athletes, Hamad al-Mansouri from Qatar, is gearing up to make history as the first-ever Arab participant in the World Professional Yo-Yo Championship 2023.
This major competition, which draws yo-yo enthusiasts from all corners of the globe, will be held in Osaka, Japan, and promises to be a highly competitive event showcasing the evolution of yo-yo techniques over the years.
Al-Mansouri's journey from a passionate yo-yo enthusiast to a trailblazing competitor on the world stage is nothing short of inspiring. In an exclusive interview, he shared his thoughts and emotions about this monumental milestone.
“Being the first Arab to compete in the world yo-yo championship's history is a great honour that carries with it a greater responsibility,” he said. With 15 years of yo-yoing experience under his belt, al-Mansouri's joy and enthusiasm are palpable as he embarks on this new chapter in his yo-yoing journey.
Historically, yo-yoing has been dominated by players from the Far East and the Far West. Al-Mansouri's participation not only marks a historical moment but also paves the way for future Arab and Middle Eastern players to step onto the global yo-yoing stage.
“I am proud to be the leading figure in the Arab region for professional yo-yo,” al-Mansouri said, stressing his role as a catalyst for change and inspiration in his region.
Preparing mentally and physically for the championship, he has dedicated himself to refining his techniques and routines, saying: “In order for a player to perform well, he or she has to have a clear mind and go through repetition routines to enhance muscle memory for the performance.”
Drawing inspiration from top players who have emerged from lesser-known or minority yo-yoing communities, al-Mansouri is determined to set a precedent for future Arab yo-yo athletes.
As Qatar aims to solidify its position as a powerhouse in the world of sports, al-Mansouri hopes to inspire his compatriots to explore diverse athletic endeavours, including professional yo-yoing.
“I encourage all future Qatar yo-yo athletes to be involved in enhancing Qatar's status in all types of sports, including professional yo-yo,” he said, underlining the impact that individual passion and dedication can have on a nation's sporting identity.
With the championship taking place in Osaka, Japan, renowned for its rich yo-yo culture, al-Mansouri is keen on learning from the best in the field and bringing back the experience to foster local talent in Qatar.
Building on friendships forged with top players, such as Hiroki Ishikawa, he envisions himself not only as a competitor but also as a goodwill ambassador, fostering positive sportsmanship between nations.
Al-Mansouri's exceptional feat of competing in two different categories, Single-Hand (1A) and Off-String (4A), further showcases his commitment to pushing boundaries. His dedication to a balanced practice routine is evident, as he strives to deliver his best in both categories.
Reflecting on the evolution of yo-yo techniques and the competitive landscape, al-Mansouri noted: “Yo-yo evolves at a very significant rate annually.”
The four-year hiatus since the last championship due to the pandemic has only fueled the skill progression, making this year's championship all the more intense and exhilarating. With innovative elements up his sleeve, al-Mansouri aims to contribute to the electrifying atmosphere of the event.
As he sets out to represent Qatar and the entire Arab Gulf region, his participation transcends the world of sports. It symbolises a bridge between cultures, a testament to determination, and a beacon of inspiration for future generations of yo-yo athletes.
“My ultimate mission is to put Qatar on the map and create a large yo-yo community from a very humble start,” al-Mansouri said.
As the world eagerly awaits the World Professional Yo-Yo Championship in Osaka, al-Mansouri's journey represents more than just yo-yoing prowess—it embodies the power of passion, perseverance, and the ability to spark change in unexpected places.
Enthusiasts can follow his progress and coverage of the championship on his social media channels (Instagram: @wav6), and witness the Arab Gulf region's emergence on the global yo-yo stage.