Qatar won its first gold as Aldana Saad al-Mubarak dominated a tightly-contested women’s 25m pistol final at the Islamic Solidarity Games in Baku yesterday.
The 24-year-old sharpshooter, who finished only fifth in the qualifications, was consistent, finishing with 28 points, ahead of Iran’s Haniyeh Rostamiyan on 23. Three-time African champion Olfa Cherni of Tunisia stumbled in the final rounds, but still managed to hold on to the bronze medal. Home shooter Irada Ashumova, who bagged a bronze medal at the 2004 Olympics in Athens, came up short of the podium.
Also, trap shooter Nasser al-Humaidi picked up Qatar’s second bronze medal yesterday.
On Saturday, Kholoud Hassan al-Khalaf won Qatar’s first medal at the event. She too won bronze in the trap shooting competition.
The gold medal went to Turkish world champion Nihan Gurer. She finished with 41 points, four more than second-placed Shafag Amrahova of Azerbaijan. Al-Khalaf settled for the bronze a further eight points adrift.
Qatar is featuring many of its athletes in the shooting competitions. In trap shooting, Qatar was represented by al-Khalaf, Bana Haji, and Amna al-Abdullah. In the skeet competition, Qatar will be represented by three more shooters.
Dr Thani bin Abdulrahman al-Kuwari, Qatar Olympic Committee (QOC) secretary general and head of the delegation to the event, praised the performances of Qatari athletes in the shooting competitions and had commended al-Khalaf on winning the first medal for Qatar in the event on Saturday.
Al-Kuwari said that the main goal of participation in the games was to help the athletes gain experience, in addition to winning many medals. He added that competing at such a high level will be a good test for the country’s young athletes on their path to other international sporting events in the future.
For her part, al-Khalaf expressed pride at winning the medal especially in the face of strong competition with a number of world champions in the category.
Qatar Shooting and Archery Federation secretary general Ahmed Majid al-Nuaimi expressed his delight at al-Khalaf’s performance. He stressed that the medal will be a motivation for all the other athletes to give their best in order to win.
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