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Nov 26 - Dec 8, 2019
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Abdulrahman gunning for gold in Dubai

Qatar’s top para athlete is working hard to win the F34 shotput title at the IPC World Para Athletics Championships.
Abdulrahman Abdulqadir Competes At The 2015 Ipc World Para Athletics Championships In Doha
Abdulrahman Abdulqadir competes at the 2015 IPC World Para Athletics Championships in Doha. IQ File Photo: Vinod Divakaran

Lying flat on his back on the bench press platform, Abdulrahman Abdulqadir kept raising heavy weights above his chest.

For an athlete who has always shouldered the burden of Qatar’s expectations on the para sports arena, it seemed an easy thing to do.

Abdulrahman is now on a new mission – to win gold at the 2019 World Para Athletics Championships in Dubai next month.

“We’re now in the last stage of preparations, and I want to win the gold,” said Abdulrahman, confidently eyeing the November 7-15 championships.

“I attended two camps in Poland and competed there as well as in France and the recent West Asian Para Games in Jordan, where I won the silver (10.16M). I now train twice a day at home, and I’m looking to put up a strong show in Dubai,” added Abdulrahman, who suffers from a form of cerebral palsy.

Abdulrahman Abdulqadir, Left, And Ahcene Bouteldja
Ahcene Bouteldja, left, and Abdulrahman Abdulqadir. IQ Photo

His Algerian coach Ahcene Bouteldja stood nearby making careful notes on his computer as Abdulrahman finished each lift. The trainer, who called his ward his ‘most special’ athlete, sounded optimistic.

“A few months ago, he suffered a shoulder injury, and that messed up his training. Now he’s back to full fitness and ready for Dubai. The level of competition there should be extremely high, but Abdulrahman has it in him to win a medal for the country,” Bouteldja told Inside Qatar.

The athlete, who started his sporting career in 2008, came into the limelight after carrying Qatar’s flag at the opening ceremony of the 2012 London Paralympics.

Abdulrahman has been steadily raising the bar since then. He claimed the gold at the 2014 Incheon Asian Para Games, won silver at the 2016 Rio Paralympics and gold at the 2017 World Para Athletics Championships in London. Last year, Qatar Olympic Committee named him the Male Para Athlete of the Year.

The thrower, who briefly held the world record before the 2015 IPC Athletics World Championships in Doha, said he was again gunning for it.

“I set the world record (10.68M) during the 2015 GCC Para event in Doha, held as a test for the World Championships at home. All podium finishers at the 2015 Worlds obliterated my mark and pushed me to fourth place. It was one of the toughest periods of my life,” he said.

“Now I’m again dreaming of breaking the world record, held by Jordan’s Ahmad Hindi (12.07). If I don’t get it in Dubai, I’m going for it and the gold medal in Tokyo (2020 Paralympics),” said a determined Abdulrahman.