Sheikh Suhaim bin Abdul Aziz al-Thani’s Al Bidda Group signed a two-year sponsorship agreement with Qatar’s top squash player Abdulla Mohamed al-Tamimi yesterday.
Al-Tamimi put up a fantastic show at the ongoing PSA Men’s World Squash Championships, which will conclude today at the Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex, reaching the third round.
The Aspire Academy graduate beat 15th seed Gregoire Marche and world number 28 Mathieu Castagnet, and gave Egyptian world number 3 Tarek Momen a massive scare in a five-game thriller during the tournament. Al Bidda Group Chairman Sheikh Suhaim had a front row seat to this week’s squash action with al-Tamimi in the court, and watching the 24-year-old play some of the best squash of his career was good enough to earn him a two-year contract.
“Most of the time, he is not in Doha and is travelling for his tournaments; so you can’t watch him play live. It is only on TV. This tournament was a chance for us to see him and his performance live. So we decided after seeing his potential, his performance and how professional he is to support him,” Sheikh Suhaim said during the signing of the agreement yesterday.
“We are proud as a Qatari company to sponsor a great Qatari player. We think he has a great future to represent Qatar in big tournaments in a good way. We are here to support him in his endeavours. “I am proud of him. I have known him since he was very young. In the last couple of years, I was supporting him. But after what I saw at the tournament, (I realised) he has a great potential to become one of the top players in the coming years. We don’t expect anything back from him, but what we need is he represent Qatar in the best way possible.”
Al-Tamimi, who has won four titles in his career, including the 2016 Australian Open and the 2018 Malaysian Open, was understandably pleased with the support. “I am really pleased signing today with Sheikh Suhaim and Al Bidda Group. And hopefully it will continue for many many years InshaAllah,” al-Tamimi said.
“My priority is to do my job for this country, make everyone proud, because the country has done a lot for me since I was young, especially with Aspire Academy and Qatar Squash Federation as well. So to have Qatari companies and Qatari people supporting is always a good thing,” he added.
“It always gives that extra motivation. When there are tournaments you want to play, while applying you know you will get the support you need, and as an athlete you always look at that, no matter how much you love the sport, and how much you are doing things for yourself. “For me I just love the support. I just love that the people, the royal family, they are watching their son, brother. Sometimes it puts you under pressure, but this time I was enjoying, and that’s when I perform my best.”
Asked about his short and long term goals, he said, “My goal now is focusing on the tournament in London (Channel Vas Championships starting November 19). Then I will have a really hard winter camp at Aspetar in December, doing altitude training, and get ready for the next season, and try to get back the ranking that I lost due to the surgery. I went from 23 to 47. The goal is to try and get back close to that ranking.
“Over the long run, I want to be top 10, I want to be world champion. I feel good about it. Hopefully in the future it is coming soon. It will be good to have branding of a Qatari company while I do that. It will be good and it will give me more motivation to do everyone proud in the country.”
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