Fares Among Array Of Weightlifting Stars Set To Compete In Qatar Cup


(MENAFN- The Peninsula) Chinthana Wasala | The Peninsula

Doha, Qatar: Nine Olympic gold medallists, nine reigning world champions and 13 world record holders will be in action at the Aspire Female Hall in Doha which will host the Qatar Cup IWF Grand Prix II 2023 Weightlifting Championships from today.

The event that will run until December 14 will serve as an Olympic qualifying competition.

With over 400 athletes representing 108 countries, including Qatar's Tokyo Olympic gold medallist Fares Ibrahim, the Qatar Cup is not far from World Championships standards, with lifters targeting prestigious spots for next year's Paris Games.

The sole contender from the host nation, Fares, who has already booked a ticket to next year's Olympics following his impressive mark of 388kg at the 2023 World Weightlifting Championships in Riyadh, in September, is poised for yet another stellar performance in front of his home fans.

Fares, 25, who now competes in the 102kg weight category, had a lift of 218kg in clean & jerk, taking the silver medal in the contest in Riyadh, before lifting 170kg in snatch to finish in overall seventh position in the competition as he became the first weightlifter from the Gulf region to clinch a medal in the World Championships.

At the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, Fares had shattered two Games records on his way to becoming Qatar's first Olympic champion, a day before compatriot Mutaz Barshim added another in the men's high jump. Fares set new marks for the clean and jerk (225kg) and total lift (402kg) in the 96kg weight category to top the podium in Tokyo.

The organising committee yesterday held a simple ceremony to mark the inauguration of the Championships, following the cancellation of the opening ceremony in solidarity with Palestinians who are under Istraeli aggression in Gaza.

Yesterday's ceremony witnessed the presence of the First Vice President of the Qatar Olympic Committee and President of the Qatari, Arab, and Asian Weightlifting Federations, Mohammed bin Youssef Al Mana, International Weightlifting Federation's Iraqi President Mohammed Hassan Jalloud Al Shammari, Iraq's Minister of Youth and Sports H E Ahmed Muhammed Al Mubarqa, Secretary-General of the Oman Olympic Committee Taha bin Suleiman Al Kushari, Secretary-General of the Yemeni Olympic Committee Muhammad Al Ahjri, as well as Qatari Olympic medallists Fares, Barshim and beach volleyball stars Cherif Younousse and Ahmed Tijan, who won the bronze medal in Tokyo.

The Championships will be open to public free of charge.

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