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Qatar welcomes Palestinian star Mohammed Hamada until the Paris Games  

After being the first-ever weightlifter from Palestine to compete at the Olympics – he was 13th in the 96kg category in Tokyo 2020ne – Mohammed Hamada is confident in obtaining a universality place for the upcoming Games, in Paris. At 22, Hamada arrived this weekend in Doha, Qatar, where the local federation will provide him with all the training conditions until the time of the Olympic celebration.

With his routine deeply affected by the conflict in Gaza, Hamada managed to compete in the 2024 IWF World Cup, held in Phuket, Thailand. This was the last qualification event for the Games and one of the two mandatory ones on the road to Paris. In the 96kg category – not an Olympic one any longer, at the Games he would compete in the 102kg – the Palestinian star ranked ninth, with 100-120-220. An outcome that, given the challenging circumstances, is far from his best, achieved at the 2021 IWF World Junior Championships, where he lifted 141-171-312. In Japan, at the Games’ time, he was slightly worse, at 137-173-310.

From left to right: Mohammed Hamada; his coach (and brother); Mohamed Al Mana (AWF and Qatar Weightlifting Federation President); and Mohammed Jalood (IWF President)

At his arrival in Doha, Hamada was welcomed by the IWF President Mohammed Jalood, the President of the Asian (and Qatar) Weightlifting Federation Mohamed Al Mana, and by the IWF Athletes Commission Chair Forrester Osei.

“It is our duty to welcome and support any athlete having problems in his country,” Mr Al Mana explained. “We needed to ensure this athlete remains in good shape and can train in normal conditions, as we are confident he will be able to get a universality place for the Games,” continued the leader of the Asian and Qatari federation, and also an IWF Executive Board member. “We are not doing this exclusively as Qatar. We are a weightlifting family and we do this as a family, helping one of its members,” concluded Mr Al Mana.

Hamada with Forrester Osei (IWF Athletes Commission chair)

Accommodation and meals, but also training, medical and physio facilities will be provided to Hamada while in Doha.

“There is a very good infrastructure here for all those athletes aiming at training at the highest level. I used some of the facilities and I must say that the work of the Qatar Weightlifting Federation has been amazing in developing the sport in this region of the world,” considered Forrester Osei, representing Ghana in international events, but training for some years now in Doha. “Hamada will find a friendly and optimal environment here, and we will make our best to ensure his preparation is good, should he be selected for the Games in Paris,” also noted the IWF Athletes Commission chair.

Meeting Meso Hassouna (right) in Doha 

Upon his arrival in Doha, the Palestinian talent had the opportunity to meet Meso Hassouna, the Qatari legend, and reigning Olympic champion in the 96kg category. “I think it’s a nice motivation (and inspiration) for Hamada in his first days here in Qatar!” Mr Osei concluded.

IWF Communications