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Hundreds throng Qatar Sports Club to cheer athletes

Hundreds throng Qatar Sports Club to cheer athletes

CATHERINE W GICHUKI
Doha
All roads led to Suheim Bin Hamad Stadium, popularly known as Qatar Sports Club, as hundreds of people from all walks of life turned up to support and have a glimpse of athletes who took part in the Wanda Diamond League on Friday.
The Ooredoo Doha Meeting saw fans brave the dusty and windy weather that engulfed the country to be present and cheer their favourite athletes.
The spectators, both Qataris and residents including Africans, Asians, Arabs, Europeans and many others attended the event in large numbers. However, a majority of the spectators were Kenyans and Ethiopians.
The stadium came to a standstill as the crowd cheered renowned Qatari athlete Mutaz Barshim as he participated in men’s high jump. However, he came second after South Korea’s Woo Sanghyeok.
Talking to Qatar Tribune, the fans said that they were happy to be part of the much anticipated event.
Sai Elisha, a Kenyan said that he attended the event to support it and that he was happy that Kenyan athlete Abel Kipsang topped in the 1,500m in men’s category. “I am happy to see Kenyans winning. I hope that our government will sponsor more athletes to participate in events like this.”
Another Kenyan, Catherine Kariuki said that the event made her feel as though she was in her homeland. “It was exciting to come and cheer the athletes. It felt as though we were in our homeland for we got to meet so many people from our country.”
Terefe, an Ethiopian who was at the event with his family said, “Ethiopian athletes including Lamecha Girma and Teddese Lemi performed well in their respective categories. I was happy to see people from my country competing in the races. It’s exciting to see the athletes competing in person compared to watching them perform in television channels or different platforms.”
Dan Musinguzi, a Ugandan said that this was a unifying event where people cheered the athletes regardless of their nationality. “This event created a sense of unity and patriotism. It was nice to see people support each other. It was a great event and special because it was in-person event.”
Tracy Muthoni, a Kenyan said that even though the weather was dusty and windy, being at the stadium was worth it.
Another Kenyan, David Kombo said that the event was well organised and provided an avenue where people could meet their friends for the first time since the COVID-19 outbreak. Other fans from places as different and distant as the Philippines and Morocco said that they were happy to be part of the event.

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