By Sports Reporter/Doha
The Minister of Culture and Sports HE Salah bin Ghanem bin Nasser al-Ali said Qatar’s Dakar Rally champion Nasser al-Attiyah can win many more titles. Minister al-Ali, and Qatar Motor and Motorcycle Federation (QMMF) president Abdulrahman al-Mannai received al-Attiyah at the Hamad International Airport yesterday, after the ace driver returned from Lima, Peru, having won his third title in the world’s most gruelling endurance race.
“Motorsport is a big thing in Qatar and Nasser has won the Dakar Rally title for the third time. It’s the most difficult challenge anyone can achieve and Nasser has done it for third time. He is still young and hopefully he will win many more times. He is an inspiration not only for Qataris but also for people living in Qatar, and even beyond Qatar. Hopefully in 2019 we will see many more sporting achievements,” Minister al-Ali said.
Meanwhile, al-Mannai described al-Attiyah’s recent triumph as one of the best of his entire career. “Nasser had a very strong battle in the car. I think the performance he displayed in Peru was one of the best of his career. Nasser’s achievement has come in the presence of legends like Stephane Peterhansel and Carlos Sainz, who are multiple winners. I think Nasser used right strategy in the race, he pushed very hard in the beginning and then he had to pull back and manage the gap between him and the others,” al-Mannai said.
“So to be here and receive Nasser is the least we can do, because to us this is really a victory for everybody – for Qatar, the QMMF, and all the drivers and members of the QMMF. It’s a victory for the Middle East,” the QMMF chief added.
Al-Mannai also predicted al-Attiyah to win many titles in the coming years. “Someone like him to be a multiple Dakar winner, I think it’s a record. No one from the Middle East or even from outside Europe has won it three times. It’s an amazing record and we are so proud. We are hoping for him to take some rest after this long trip. We are sure after this victory he will become much more stronger. I don’t think honestly he is done; he still has lot to give,” al-Mannai said.
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