WATCH: Prominent People in Qatar - Mutaz Essa Barshim
The 28-year-old world champion, who is the only Qatari athlete to win more than one Olympic medal, registered his personal best with a high jump of 2.43 meters at the 2014 Diamond League meet in Brussels.
‘Mutaz,’ whose name literally translates as “pride,” is Aspire Academy’s premier graduate. He has secured a number of medals at the Asian, World and Olympic competitions since a breakthrough year in 2010.
But the pride of the nation has had his share of challenges, particularly in the 2012 season when he had an unfortunate stress fracture in his lumbar spine. Despite of his condition, he managed to pick a Bronze medal on his 2012 Olympic debut in London.
Barshim dedicates his success to his unwavering determination and intensive training.
For him, it doesn’t end with the second highest jump. The Qatari star says on his website that he ambitions “to continue writing history and set a new world record in high jump.”
Barshim grew up loving sports as part of an extremely active family. His father was an athlete and all his brothers were involved in different kinds of sports, he said in an interview with Aspire Academy.
He began training at 11 years of age with long and middle-distance running, which he began losing interest in as he watched the jumping groups at training.
He later switched to jumping with long jump, triple jump and high jump until age 17 when he completely started focusing on the latter.
As Barshim turned 19, he had already bagged some winners trophies at Junior Level competitions and earned the title of the 10th best Junior high jumper in history.
Making his way up with his superior skills and a burning passion to reach new heights of success, the energetic young athlete also became the nation and Asian record holder.
“Sport is everything for me,” Mutaz says. “It’s my lifestyle, my job, my fun and my health. When I jump, I feel amazing, like I’m flying!”
The nation’s most decorated athletes now has his sights set firmly on Olympic gold at Tokyo 2020, in addition to breaking the 2.45 meter World Record in men’s high jump held by Javier Sotomayor.
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