8/24/2016 5:10:53 AM



FOR the members of Gen Y, who are brought up on a daily dose of Twitter feeds and broadcast their lives on Instagram, it is easy to take a trip down the memory lane.

But hereafter, August 17, 2018, will now hold as much significance for Qatar as August 8, 1992.

Twenty four summers ago in Barcelona, Mohammed Suleiman earned Qatar their first Olympic medal, a bronze in 1,500M. Last week, star high jumper Mutaz Essa Barshim took a step further by winning silver at Rio with an effort of 2.36M.

Gracious both on and off the track, Mutaz first showed glimpses of his talent when he won gold at the 2010 Junior World Championships in Canada.

It has been a meteoric rise since then and the bronze on his Olympic debut in London two years later underlined his growing potential. Now with the silver in Brazil, expectations of a gold at Tokyo four years down the line seems quite logical and Mutaz himself was the first to admit it.

“I aimed for the gold and will always aspire to achieve that. I’m happy for the silver medal at Rio and will aim to win gold in Tokyo 2020,” said the 25-year-old as he became Qatar’s most decorated Olympian of all times.

The feeling had not sunk in completely when Mutaz posted a picture on Instagram of himself and his coach Stanislaw Szczyrba boarding a flight to Poland, where he will continue training to fulfil his Diamond League commitments, which resume in Lausanne, Switzerland, on Thursday.

However, all eyes are on the traditional season-ending meet in Brussels on September 9. After all, that is where he registered his personal best of 2.43M two years ago, which was just 2M short of Cuban Javier Sotomayor’s long-standing world record.

“The world record and the Olympic gold medal are both goals for me,” added Mutaz, as he pursues his next dream in the grandiose theatre.

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