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Nov 26 - Dec 8, 2019
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Qatar urged to focus on grooming elite athletes

Qatar has talent, but they need to develop it, says Sam Ramsamy, former president of the South African Olympic Committee.
Sam Ramsamy 2019 Anoc Award 1
Sam Ramsamy, winner of ANOC’s 2019 Lifetime Achievement Award, says that Qatar are giants in many fields despite being a small country. Photo: Team IQ

Sam Ramsamy, former president of South African Olympic Committee and a former International Olympic Committee (IOC) member, said that Qatar could produce top quality athletes in future with more focus on elite sports.

“Qatar needs to groom young boys and girls for high performance sports. It’s these athletes who’ll become great ambassadors for the country. If more athletes take part in elite sports, they’ll bring glory to the country in future,” said Ramsamy, who was in Doha to receive the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) 2019 Lifetime Achievement Award.

The veteran sports administrator cited the performances of Qatar’s Mutaz Barshim and Abdderrahman Samba at the recent IAAF World Athletics Championships in Doha to support his viewpoint.

“They won medals for the country and that created an impact. You need more performances such as these. It also indicates that Qatar has the talent, all that’s needed is to develop it,” he said.

Ramsamy said that hosting international events was a right step in that direction.

“When you get top level international athletes to perform in your country, it inspires youngsters to emulate them. As such inviting overseas participants for competitions in Qatar seems to have paid off to a certain extent,” he said.

Ramsamy appreciated Qatar’s contribution to the world of sport.

“They’re doing a tremendous amount of work, no doubt about it. They’re giants in many fields despite being a small country. They’ve a highly respected presence on the global stage,” he said.