Al-Attiyah wins thrilling jump-off for equestrian gold

Hamad Ali al-Attiyah put together a blistering round to strike gold in the Individual Jumping event at the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games yesterday. Qatar is also assured of a medal in the men’s snooker team event, having beaten China for a spot in the final. At the Equestrian Centre, al-Attiyah came out on top in a seven-man jump-off against the clock to claim the title.

Al-Attiyah triumphed by just over a second from Saudi Arabia’s Khaled Abdulrahman Almobty with Iran’s Davood Pourrezaei claiming bronze. “I knew I had to be fast and sharp to win the gold,” said al-Attiyah, who competed at the Olympic Games in Rio last year, but did not get past the qualifying rounds.  “I was a bit fast, but not so fast, but I was lucky that when Khaled landed for the final fence he missed the turn between the tree.  “That’s what made me get the gold medal. I thank God for the luck. Rio was a good experience for me, I learned a lot.”


Qatar’s Hamad al-Attiyah (centre) celebrates after winning the Individual Jumping gold at the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games yesterday.

Al-Attiyah, who claimed silver in the Team event on Thursday, completed the course in a rapid time of 38.81sec urging on his 10-year-old gelding, Clinton, at every chance. Almobty knew the time to beat but finished in 39.91 to just fall short, having had to go the long way round to the final fence, which cost him the gold medal. Pourrezaei had been the first rider to set off in the jump-off, where the course is altered and the fences raised in height, to set the benchmark time of 41.86, which eventually brought Iran the bronze medal. Kamil Sabitov of Kyrgyzstan was the only other rider of the seven who progressed to the jump-off to post a clear round and his time of 42.90 seconds earned him fourth spot.


Qatar in team snooker final

Qatar sprang a surprise when they beat China 3-1 in the men’s snooker team semi-final yesterday.
The Qataris will face Iran in the final after the latter beat Afghanistan by the same margin. Ali Nasser al-Obaidli clinched his team’s victory by beating world No. 29 Zhou Yuelong. “I am very happy to win. It is the first time we have beaten China like this and it was 3-1, not 3-2. So it was a big win for Qatar and hopefully in the final we can win,” said al-Obaidli. When asked about trying to emulate high jump world champion Mutaz Essa Barshim, who won gold at the worlds in August, al-Obaidli said, “He took the gold and he has opened everything up for us. Like he brought home the gold we, too, want to bring home gold.”

Qatar won a thrilling 14-12 encounter against Turkmenistan in the 3×3 basketball quarter-finals yesterday.
The 2014 FIBA 3×3 World Cup winners are still the team to beat. Qatar took an early 6-0 lead before a big Turkmen charge saw them turn it around to lead 11-9. But Qatar’s Abdulrahman Saad made the match a one-man show. He posted 13 of Qatar’s 14 points, including a big two-point shot to make it 14-12 and seal his team’s victory. “I wanted to hit this shot. I told myself, ‘Just do it’. The ball came to me and I didn’t have any hesitation. A shot, a win, a victory, maybe a medal, hopefully the gold,” Saad said after the win. “I felt I was on fire and shot like crazy. It happens sometimes and you feel you are in the zone, as Michael Jordan used to say on these nights.” Qatar will now face Mongolia who overwhelmed Indonesia 22-10, netting nine straight points from 13-10 to finish with a flourish.

Iran’s Moradi breaks weightlifting world record

Elsewhere, Iranian Olympic champion weightlifter Sohrab Moradi broke the longest standing world record in the sport to win gold with a 413kg combined lift yesterday. Qatar’s Fares Elbakh missed out on a medal, finishing fourth with a combined lift of 379kg.