Qatari stars in the hunt for gold at home
The host nation will enter the men’s beach volleyball event at the inaugural ANOC World Beach Games as firm favourites.
When the Association of National Olympic Committees’ World Beach Games kick off on October 11, Qatar, as hosts, will be keen to win maximum medals. An almost certain avenue for a medal will be beach volleyball, with the country’s team being one of the strongest in Asia.
Qatar’s prowess in the sport first came into prominence when Tiago Santos and Jefferson Pereira clinched bronze at the 2014 Asian Beach Volleyball Championship in Jinjang, China. Two years later, the national team made its Olympic debut in Rio.
Since then, the dynamic duo of Ahmed Tijan and Cherif Younousse, ranked ninth now on the FIVB World Rankings, have been doing quite well. Last year, they became the Asian champions after beating the mighty Iranians in the final in Satun, Thailand. They defended their title earlier this year, overcoming home favourites China in Maoming in straight sets.
The Qatar duo, also the 2018 Asian Games champions, finished third at the FIVB World Tour 4-star in Xiamen, China, and fifth at the FIVB World Tour 4-star in Doha this year.
When they take the beach volleyball venue in Al Gharafa, they can be assured of excellent home support. If they can rise to expectations, a gold medal at home does not seem an impossible dream.
The ANOC World Beach Games, featuring 14 sports, will be held from October 11 to 16.