One of the bright spots for Qatar at the ongoing Olympics was the performance of their beach volleyball pair, who defied the odds to reach the pre-quarterfinal. At 21 years and two months, Cherif Younousse was the youngest player at Rio and the second youngest after the Czech Republic’s Martin Lebl, who was 20 years and five months when he competed in 2000 Sydney. Cherif spoke about his Olympics debut and the life beyond the court.
How would you sum up your Olympics experience?
This is what we dream all the time in our life — to compete in the biggest sports spectacle. I’m happy to realise it and also be the youngest in the competition. When you’re surrounded by star athletes, it pumps you up naturally. Our aim was to get through the early rounds and build on from there. We gave our best and I’ll always look back at it proudly.
How was it playing at the iconic Copacabana Beach?
The atmosphere at Copacabana was amazing. It has a distinctive Brazilian flavour. The court was so huge and we got lost at the beginning! The people there virtually adopted us as a second national team! The support was getting bigger after every match.