By Sports Reporter/Doha
Weightlifter Fares Ibrahim created history in Tokyo Saturday after he became Qatar’s first ever Olympic gold medallist. The 23-year-old dominated the men's 96kg category, setting two new Games records in the process at the Tokyo International Forum.
Fares Ibrahim competes in the men's 96kg weightlifting during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Tokyo International Forum in Tokyo Saturday.
The 2019 world silver medallist was in a class of his own as he set new marks for the clean and jerk (225kg) and total lift (402kg). "I am literally speechless about that (getting the first gold for Qatar)," Fares said. "I hope that they are proud of me. I promise this is not the end, we still have more and more coming soon. We will do our best to make it even better.”
Fares’s gold is Qatar's sixth Olympic medal and second in weightlifting, after Saif Asaad's 105kg bronze at Sydney Games in 2000. With Qatar Olympic Committee President HE Sheikh Joaan bin Hamad al-Thani watching from the stands, Fares exploded with emotion after making his opening 217kg clean and jerk lift, which etched himself into Qatar’s Olympic history. Venezuela's Keydomar Sanchez took silver with Anton Pliesnoi of Georgia finishing third.
Immediately after the podium ceremony, Sheikh Joaan congratulated Fares. Sheikh Joaan dedicated Fares’s historic achievement to His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, His Highness the Father Amir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani and the Qatari people.
Sheikh Joaan said: “This unprecedented accomplishment is a result of the joint efforts made by team Qatar's golden weightlifter Fares Ibrahim, his coaching staff and the Qatar Weightlifting and Fencing Federation."
The QOC president also lauded the huge efforts made by everyone to make this achievement possible and to raise Qatar's flag at the mega sporting event.
Meanwhile, attention Sunday will shift to Mutaz Barshim, who will be aiming for a gold in the High Jump final, which is scheduled to start at 1.50 pm Qatar time. The Qatari star has a rich haul of medals. At the 2012 London Games, the 30-year-old won a bronze, which was later upgraded to silver, he picked up another silver in Rio de Janeiro four years later and then won two successive world titles in 2017 and 2019. The Olympics carry extra significance for Barshim as a gold in the Games is the only medal he is yet to win in a distinguished high jump career.
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