Nasser’s presence is enough to fire up team: Gennady
DOHA QATAR Shooting and Archery Federation Technical Manager Gennady Solodovnikov says he knows maverick Nasser bin Saleh al Attiyah well and his mere presence in the team is enough to work miracles.
Competitive action in the 12th Asian Shooting Championships begins on Friday. The meet is vital for participants as there are 35 places up for grabs at this year’s Olympics in London.
Nasser, who was fourth in the 2004 Athens Games, has continuously been taking part in the skeet event in the Olympics since the 1996 Atlanta Games.
Attiyah’s Dakar Rally crown defence ended untimely two days ago and he has reportedly arrived in Doha, seeking to win a chance to figure in his fifth straight Olympics in London.
In an exclusive talk with Qatar Tribune, the Russian manager said: “Nasser is a valuable member of the shooting team. Also he is a great fighter. The impact of him being present in the team can work wonders.
“Even after his unsuccessful attempt in the 2012 Dakar Rally, we’re very happy to see him in shooting. I have known him for a long time and he can cope with this setback. He is indeed a very active and gifted shooter,” added Solodovnikov.
Though the technical manager refrained from commenting on how many days he may take to be competition fit, he stressed: “I don’t want to go deep into what time he might take to be championship ready. It is too individual. But his presence would certainly have a very positive effect on the team.” He also expected that the home shooters are likely to claim two to three places in the 2012 Olympics, though the competition will, no doubt, be quite intense.
“The level of our shooters has definitely gone up but the Asian championship is quite different. Our shotgun shooters seem better prospects, though we have some individuals shooting well in the rifles and pistols. So we have chances of getting two or three shooters into the London Games,”added Solodovnikov.
Al Sheeba’s farewell The QSAF also organised a farewell to local shooter Abdul Nasser al Sheeba. He was the first Qatari to win a shooting medal outside. In the Cairo Arab Games in 1998, he had won a gold, silver and bronze.
Qatar gave him a befitting farewell during the first day of the Asian meet. ASC President Sheikh Salman al Sabah, QSAF chief Mohammad al Maadeed and other dignitaries were present on the occasion. He was presented a memento by Sheikh Salman for his contribution to the sport.