Doha, The Qatar Olympic Committee (QOC) is celebrating the its 40th anniversary on March 14.
Since its founding in 1979, Qatar Olympic Committee has been headed by a number of presidents, the first of who was HH Sheikh Abdullah bin Khalifa Al-Thani, followed by HE Sheikh Mohammed bin Fahad Al-Thani, HE Sheikh Saud bin Khalid Al-Thani, HH Sheikh Tamim bi Hamad Al-Thani and the incumbent President of QOC HE Sheikh Joaan bin Hamad Al-Thani.
Over the last forty years, the sport and the Olympic Movement in Qatar have witnessed a great boom and many unprecedented achievements have been made at various levels, as a result of the outstanding role played by QOC in advancing all sports as well as hosting many major sporting events that made Qatar the world’s sports capital.
Following the QOC founding decision on March 14 1979, HH Sheikh Abdullah bin Khalifa Al-Thani assumed the presidency of QOC’s first board of directors, which comprised the presidents of the sports federations. During his presidency, the Qatari sports began making significant achievements, when Qatar became the runners-up of the 1981 FIFA World Youth Championship. In the 1982 Asian Games in India, Monsar Mohammed received Qatar’s first medal in the Asian games. In 1984 Qatar’s Olympic football team qualified for the Olympic games in Los Angeles. Another achievement was made when Qatar youth basketball team won the 1988 Asian youth basketball championship. In 1989 Salem Saeed Bu Sharbak won the Bowling World Cup.
After HE Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalid Al-Thani assumed the presidency of the QOC on September 4, 1991, the journey of sports achievements continued when Qatar’s Mohammed Suleiman won the 1500 meters bronze medal at the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games, to be Qatar’s first Olympic medal, and at the same time the first Olympic medal in the GCC.
Qatar’s first football team won the 11th Arab Gulf Cup in Doha in 1992 for the first time in its history join the Kuwaiti and Iraqi national teams as holders of the championship title.
HE Sheikh Mohammed bin Fahad Al-Thani assumed the presidency of the Qatar Olympic Committee on December 11, 1993. The most important event during his presidency was Qatar’s hosting of the FIFA Youth World Cup in 1995. The tournament organization was assigned to Qatar only two week before its kick off. Sports officials in Qatar were in a race against time and in a massive challenge to complete all preparations for the tournament.
On June 14, 1995, HE Sheikh Saud bin Khalid Al-Thani assumed the presidency of QOC. During his reign Qatar was announced as the host nation of the Asian Games 2006. the announcement was made on 12 November 2000. In the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Qatar’s Asaad Saeed Seif won a bronze medal in weight lifting. it was Qatar’s Second Olympic medal.
HH Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani took over the QOC leadership on December 12, 2000. During His Highness’ presidency, several sports achievements were made, most importantly, Qatar National Handball team qualified in February 2002 for the World Cup for the first time in the history of Qatari handball. The team participated in the 18th Handball World Cup in Spain 2003. They advanced for the second round of the tournament.
Qatar won the second Gulf Cup in Doha in 2004 after winning the final against Oman in penalty shootout. The Qatar National Team won the Asian Men’s Basketball Championship for the first time in their history, after beating the South Korean team in the final match in Taipei, China in November 2004.
Doha hosted the 15th Asian Games in December 2006. All 45 members of the Olympic Council of Asia participated in the event for the first time. Qatar is the first Arab country to host this event, the third in its importance after the Olympic Games and the FIFA World Cup.
On December 2, 2010, Qatar won the organization of the FIFA World Cup 2022 after being voted in the FIFA headquarter in Zurich. Qatar , becoming the first Arab and Middle Eastern country to have this honor.
Qatari world-class athletes Nasser bin Saleh Al Attiyah and Motaz Barshim won two silver medals in the 30Olympic Games in London 2012.
The Qatari national basketball team also won the title of the 33rd World Championships in Moscow after winning the final against Serbia to clinch the world title for the first time in the history of Qatari basketball.
Qatar impressed the world by the organization of the 24th edition of the Handball World Cup in 2015. Through the 18 days of the tournament, Doha hosted the best tournament in the history of the Handball World Cup in all respects. Moreover, econd place in the tournament, made Qatar the fist Arab as well as Asian nation and the first from outside Europe to step on the podium in the World Championship since its inception more than seventy years ago.
HE Sheikh Joaan bin Hamad Al-Thani assumed the presidency of the Qatar Olympic Committee on May 7, 2015. Since that date, the achievements has continued, especially after Motaz Barshim won the High Jump silver medal of the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics and the gold medal at the World Athletics Championships in London 2017.
Source: Qatar Olympic Committee