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Nov 26 - Dec 8, 2019
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Tears of joy as Qatari girls fulfil their dreams

Medal-winners at the GCC Women’s Games in Kuwait eager to raise the bar after their victorious return.
Hammer Throw Champion Rania Al Naji, Third Right, And Her Team Mates Pose For A Photograph
Hammer throw champion Rania Al Naji, third right, and her team-mates pose for a photograph. IQ Photo: Vinod Divakaran

Plenty of anticipation had built up at the Hamad International Airport’s arrival lounge by the time members of the Qatar team, who participated in the GCC Women’s Games in Kuwait, started coming out.

While parents and siblings welcomed them with a smattering of applause, Qatari officials surged forward to greet them with flowers and garlands.
The welcome was well-deserved, for they had returned home with nine gold, 14 silver and 11 bronze medals from the biennial event.
Mona Al Saadi, who won two gold (discus throw and shot put) and a bronze (100M) in the segment for athletes with special needs, was thrilled to see her mother and brother among the ‘reception committee.’

She rushed towards them, giving her mother a big hug and putting one of her medals around her brother’s neck.

Double Gold Medallist Mona Al Saadi And Her Brother Hamad Celebrate At The Hamad International Airport
Double gold-medallist Mona Al Saadi and her brother Hamad celebrate at the Hamad International Airport. IQ Photo: Vinod Divakaran

“Hamad (her brother) has been a constant support throughout my life and had it not been for my mother’s prayers, I wouldn’t be where I’m today. More than anyone else, I owe my success to them. They believed in my dream of becoming a sportswoman. I dedicate my medals to them,” she told Inside Qatar, with a glint of tears in her eyes.

The athlete, who is a student of physical education at Qatar University, hoped she could do more for her country in the coming days.

“I’m the happiest when I win medals for Qatar. I hope I can keep doing that by participating in more competitions in the future,” added Mona, who suffers from cerebral palsy.

Sarah Masoud, who won gold in discus throw for athletes with special needs, was also pleased with the achievement.

“I’m proud I was able to raise Qatar’s flag high. The competition was difficult, but I overcame those challenges. I’ll leave for Dubai soon for the 2019 World Para Athletics Championships (November 7 to 15). I hope to repeat my form there,” said the Paralympian.

Masoud, a wheelchair athlete, had created history in 2016 when she became the first Qatari woman to win a medal – a silver in F33 shot put – at the Rio Paralympics.

Rania Al Naji, who took the hammer throw title with a 49.23M heave, said she was happy with the gold, but not with the distance.

“I’m happy with the gold medal, but I could’ve thrown the hammer much farther than I did. I was a little scared and froze during the competition. It affected my overall performance. I’ll try and rectify my mistakes in the future,” said Rania, a student of the Qatar Aeronautical College.

Sarah Masoud, Winner Of Discus Throw For Athletes With Special Needs, Is Welcomed With Flowers As She Arrives At The Airport
Sarah Masoud, winner of discus throw for athletes with special needs, is welcomed with flowers as she arrives at the airport. IQ Photo: Vinod Divakaran