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Qatar’s Abdul Rahman Samba, the 400-meter hurdles star, had the feeling that “the Olympic dream is moving away and getting closer at the same time”, during a period of uncertainty about whether the Tokyo Olympics will be held.
The Tokyo Games, scheduled for July 23-August 8, represent a long-awaited dream for the Annabi champion, who aspires to win an Olympic medal, after a five-year waiting period following the postponement of the session last summer due to the outbreak of the Corona pandemic.
– Lord, harmful and beneficial! –
However, on the basis of “good evil”, Samba, who will turn twenty-six by next September, also considers himself lucky to postpone the Olympic event, “because I was not fit enough last summer, due to the big injury I suffered in 2019,” The postponement gave me more opportunity to prepare and prepare well.”
Samba, who resorted to athletics in his early days to increase his speed while playing football, describes the recent period as “difficult”, and says that “the preparations and the fear of postponing the Olympics is a great preoccupation for me.”
Samba, who was born in Saudi Arabia to a Mauritanian family before he was naturalized in Qatar, told AFP during his training at the Aspire Academy in Doha that what was reported about the possibility of delaying again due to the pandemic, left a great impact on the players, especially since the player does not know when He has to be ready, he doesn’t know if the games are going to be on time or if they’re going to be delayed any longer!
But Samba, who is only twenty seconds away from American record holder Kevin Young (46.78 seconds), and has held since the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, and shares third place with American Ray Benjamin in the list of the best records in the world, believes that he has reached the required level by 80 to 90% after the preparation period, which he described as “very harsh” due to the outbreak of the pandemic.
– Tasted the Olympics in Jakarta! –
Samba is not paying attention to the impact of his lack of experience in his first Olympics, compared to his first competitor in the 400m hurdles, Norway’s world champion Karsten Warholm, who was previously at the Rio Olympics.
He considers that he lived the experience during his participation in the 2018 Asian Games, which won his gold, noting that the Jakarta Games gave him the same taste of the Olympics.
But Samba, who won the 400-meter hurdles bronze in the World Cup Doha 2019 at home, acknowledges the difficulty of participating in the competitions in the absence of the audience, “The Olympics is a big event, and the fans give it more beauty and its presence gives you motivation and shares your joy.”
He continued, “We have to accept the reality, the audience will be deficient, but it will support us from behind the screens, and we have adapted to this situation after participating in the tournaments that the audience is absent.”
Getting out of isolation is not a goal! –
Samba acknowledges the difficulty of the conditions that accompany the entire session due to the outbreak of Corona, especially in light of the isolation in the medical bubble, as “the player always aspires to go out and learn about the landmarks in the organized country, and this will not be possible.”
But Samba also stresses that going out will not be the biggest goal for the participants, as “safety remains the priority,” as he puts it.
Samba, who specialized in 400 hurdles a few months before the 2017 World Cup, rejects the principle of regret not breaking the world record in Paris in 2018 in the seventh round of the Diamond League. “The Paris race was very cool. I remember I slowed down in the last meters, but I think I I did not regret it because it gives me more motivation to break the record in the coming period.”
– “I don’t reveal the secret of the broth!” –
In response to a question whether the champion, who loved football, after practicing handball, volleyball and basketball, broke his record during the exercises, without telling anyone, Samba smiled, and said, “Exercise numbers do not prefer the player to take them, because every cook has a secret. The flavor, exercises are the secret of the recipe, and the player does not like to share its numbers with anyone.”
And about his message to the new generations to encourage the exercise of strength in the countries hosting the 2022 FIFA World Cup, Samba, a fan of the French and German national teams in the current European Cup, points out that “athletics is a game of passion and challenge, especially the challenge with oneself before it is with others.” He stressed that his message is an invitation to generations to “live the passion” in the mother of games.
Samba confirms that the work to raise the flag of Qatar in the global platforms represents his constant motivation and passion, in his quest to follow in the footsteps of his compatriot Mutaz Barshim, the world champion in high jump, whom Samba describes as “the brother and the great champion whose advice and achievements we benefit from, as he is the sports icon.” which we admire.”
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© 2021 AFP