‘Doha meet first step for me in Olympic year’
DOHA QATARI high jump Olympic medal prospect Mutaz Essa Barshim aims to rise steadily and stay healthy before he approaches the London Games in July-August this year.
The Asian indoor record holder had a superb debut in the Samsung Diamond League at home last year and was third behind winner American Jesse Williams and Cypriot Kyriakos Ioannou at 2.33m. He then went on to acquire another third-place later in the season.
The Aspire Academy product also looked like bagging a medal in the World Championship in Daegu (South Korea) as well but narrowly missed out on the bronze on the count back, having been tied at 2.35m with three others.
Williams clinched the world championship gold medal at 2.38m and Russian Aleksey Dmitrik earned the silver, while Bahamas’ Trevor Barry grabbed the bronze.
“I’d a fine season in 2011.
I’m very proud of what I did at the pit. Of course, I’ll try to improve upon what I performed last year. But the most important factor for me is to be injury-free and compete in the Olympic Games at my best,” said Barshim, also the world junior champion.
“The Doha meet is the first step for me in the Olympic year. The entry list is also quite strong with Jesse coming again. It is very early to perform at my 100 percent. I’ll, no doubt, try to do as well as I can but my chief goal is to do well at the Olympic Games,” Barshim added.
Williams heads the cream of the high jumpers who will vie for the top honours on May 11 at the Qatar Sports Club Stadium. Also present in the fray are Dmitrik and Barry.
The 2012 World Indoor Championship champion Greek Dimitrios Chondrokoukis will also launch his preparations here.
“Though I’ve done nothing special as yet, I’ve prepared well for the start of the season.
I’ve planned to raise my level slowly. I don’t want to jump high in an event and get injured in this crucial year,” said Mutaz, wearing red baseball cap and the matching digital watch.
“I’ll participate in all those events which my coach thinks are important during for the run-up for the Olympics,” said Barshim.
Talking about his par excellence performance last year, he said he was always inspired by challenges. “The field was quite tough here in 2011. And we had a high-level competition that motivated me. Also the support of my family, fans and friends lifted me to perform so strongly. But it’s not easy to repeat such a start. Just like before, I’ll attempt to do my best and wait for the result.
“I’m not focusing on any particular height this year.
The only thing I’m trying to concentrate on is the Olympic Games. I’m much more matured in the last two years or so. I don’t wish to go there carrying any injury. I know well now how to prepare. I’m just taking each competition as I should,” said Mutaz, who was ninth in the just-held World Indoor Championship in Turkey.