By Our Correspondent/Jakarta, Indonesia
The 2018 Asian Games have officially opened with a spectacular opening ceremony and prodigious young squash player, Abdulla al-Tamimi, led out the team. The team stood out in their uniquely designed Adidas kit worn for the first-time.
Over 11,000 athletes from 45 nations will compete across 40 sports in Jakarta and Palembang in one of the world’s biggest sporting events.
You can follow the progress of Team Qatar’s athletes and show your support on the Team Qatar social media channels with the hashtag #IamQatar.
Team Qatar will be represented by more than 200 athletes, including 29 females, who will compete across 30 events and disciplines in 20 different sports. The team includes a strong mix of youth and experienced athletes with ages ranging from 17 to 40 and Olympic medallists competing alongside Asian Games’ debutants.
The Opening Ceremony was attended by Qatar Olympic Committee President HE Sheikh Joaan bin Hamad al-Thani, secretary-general Jassim al-Buenain and other QOC officials.
Speaking afterwards, HE Sheikh Joaan said, “We were so proud and happy to see the Qatari delegation marching amongst the other Asian countries participating at the opening ceremony of the Asian Games 2018. This is an important multi-sport event in the journey of our athletes towards greatness and success. The Opening Ceremony has brought back memories of the unforgettable Opening Ceremony of Doha 2006, which has had a great impact on the development of sport in Qatar. It has also shifted the eyes of the world toward Qatar as a global sporting hub. We are so proud of the legacy it has brought to our next generations of athletes in our country. We thank the Organising Committee on the success of the ceremony which shows the readiness of Indonesia to stage successful games.
“Indonesia showed the world that they are ready to host an incredible edition of the Games with a mesmerising show featuring international and local artists. The atmosphere at the ceremony was vibrant and full of energy, paving the way for an exhilarating 15 days of competition that will follow.”
Al-Buenain said, “The opening ceremony has gathered the best Asian champions from different cultures and background in one place to celebrate sport in unity and peace. This proves the prominent status of Asia in the world of sport. Jakarta has spread a message of peace and friendship to the continent and the world, and Qatar’s participation in the games with more than 200 athletes proves its strong and advanced level in sport. We are proud of our athletes and we are confident of their abilities to achieve greatness. Thanks to the Organising Committee of the Asian Games Jakarta 2018. We wish all the athletes all the best in their upcoming competitions.”
Team Qatar’s chef de mission Ishaq al-Hashmi added: “We are proud of our athletes who marched today at the opening ceremony in Jakarta. Our athletes have prepared extensively for the Games. We are happy to be part of such an important sporting event and we look forward to achieve our best at the Asian Games in the next two weeks in Indonesia.”
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