Gaza weightlifter Mohammad Hamada says he’s aiming to rank among the many prime ten when he makes historical past as the primary Palestinian to compete within the sport on the Olympics that kicks off in Tokyo later this month.
The 19-year-old left Gaza a number of weeks in the past to make sure he faces no points travelling to the Video games wherein he secured his place after having participated in six worldwide qualifying contests since 2019.
“After I get to Tokyo, I’ll do the not possible, and I’ll exert each effort to be distinctive,” Hamada advised Reuters in Doha, in Qatar, the place he trains 5 hours a day.
“I can’t describe my feeling to have certified for the Tokyo Olympics.”
Final Might, he positioned seventh within the Asia championship and eighth on the world championship in Uzbekistan for athletes underneath 20, the place he carried out a 141 kg snatch and 171 kg clear and jerk – for a complete weight of 312 kg within the two lifts.
“I hope to attain a brand new private file … and are available within the first prime 10 locations,” stated Hamada, who heads to Japan on July 20, three days earlier than the Video games are scheduled to start out.
Entry to and exit from Gaza is managed by Israel and Egypt, and restrictions have elevated because the Islamist group Hamas seized management of the coastal strip since 2007.
Hamada and his brother, Hussam, who can also be the Palestinian nationwide weightlifting group coach, didn’t need to take any threat and headed to Doha.
“That is the primary Palestinian participation in historical past in weightlifting,” stated Hussam. “Coaching is an advanced course of, and the athlete being my brother made it simpler for me.”
He stated Palestinian athletes suffered from a scarcity of well-equipped golf equipment, correct coaching instruments and extra worldwide participation in contests outdoors their territories.
Palestine has been collaborating within the Olympic Video games because the institution of the Palestinian Authority in 1996, following the primary peace accords with Israel.
Asad Al-Majdalawi, deputy chairman of the Palestinian Olympic Committee, stated Hamada’s participation was an achievement no matter whether or not he gained a medal.
“It’s a legendary occasion to have Mohammad Hamada, a younger, formidable champion from Palestine, from Gaza, that witnessed wars and blockades, in Tokyo waving the Palestinian flag and competing in opposition to world champions,” he stated.
Majdalawi stated 4 different Palestinian athletes from Gaza, the Israeli-occupied West Financial institution, and East Jerusalem would compete within the Video games.
“We’re wanting ahead to writing a Palestinian file within the Olympic contests, no matter what that file can be,” he advised Reuters.
At Hamada’s house in Gaza Metropolis, his dad and mom proudly displayed a number of gold, silver and bronze medals.
“Mohammad achieved our dream, a dream we had waited for lengthy,” stated his father, Khamees. “I’m relieved… I’m pleased with Mohammad and Hussam. We made it to Tokyo.”