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We need to be united to overcome this situation, says Qatar’s high jump star Barshim
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We need to be united to overcome this situation, says Qatar’s high jump star Barshim

Ikoli Victor
Just as the whole world and top sport stars await the end of the ongoing coronavirus crisis, so does Qatar’s high jump world champion Mutaz Essa Barshim who should have been on road to seeking an Olympic gold this year had the pandemic not struck.
But Barshim is also among the citizen Qataris and expats, who are currently confined to their homes following the government’s decision of home stay and work to curb spread of the virus. The tall athlete is also of the belief that if all stay united and follow the guidelines issued, the high wall of beating this disease can be scaled.
 “Yes I’m complying with the rules, when it comes to health and safety nothing else matters. Because it’s a matter that concerns us all and we need everybody’s collaboration and support. We need to be united to overcome this situation,” said Barshim while speaking from his home.
He said the current situation is affecting everyone and the impact is on different people from diverse work fields and professions. “Each of us is suffering from the impact this virus is having on our lives.”
Like many athletes stuck indoors, the 24-year-old is, however, keeping himself fit and busy saying you need a little imagination to do things.
“I can’t do my normal trainings these days, its new situation we just do our best and hope for the best.”
The twice world champion and 2016 Rio Games silver medallist in self-isolation. “I start my day with prayers followed by training and using the time to do some activities at home. I clean my office, do the house, play games and now I can say I have more time to reply more emails.
“I am doing a lot of painting, putting paints up the wall as well as cooking (laughs),” he says.
Advising residents living in Qatar on how to maintain fitness drills at home, he said, “You still can do so many things at home. Trainings and activities at home are still an easy option when staying in. Even if it’s just an hour a day, make sure to stay active.
The postponement of the 2020 Tokyo Games due to coronavirus may have delayed the Qatari high jumper’s wait for an Olympic gold but Barshim said he’ll continue to work hard.
“A 100 percent sound decision with health and safety is priority, but it is difficult to accept it as a professional athlete after years, months, days and long hours of effort and sacrifice to achieve your goals and sporting dreams.
“I just need to prepare myself and keep training harder, as all my fellow athletes do.
“I’m going to do my best to change things and try to stay healthy and prepared. I would prefer not to be distracted by things and situations that are out of my hand and remain focused on training,” Barshim stressed.
“For the time being, I cannot t do anything to replace competitions, but we are all in the same situation. We just have to keep training until we can compete again,” he added.
Barshim is the first man to defend the World high jump title when he won in Doha last October with a world leading jump of 2.37m.
He has a collection of Olympic and world championship medals, including a silver at the 2016 Rio Olympics, to underscore his quality.
He has already set his eyes on the Tokyo 2021 Olympics where he would be chasing a gold medal!
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