Gaza weightlifter Mohammad Hamada says his objective is to be within the prime ten when he makes historical past as the primary Palestinian to compete within the sport on the Olympics that start in Tokyo later this month.
The 19-year-old left Gaza a number of weeks in the past to make sure he faces no issues touring to the Video games the place he secured his spot after having participated in six worldwide qualifying contests since 2019.
“Once I get to Tokyo, I’ll do the unimaginable and do my greatest to be distinctive,” Hamada instructed Reuters in Doha, Qatar, the place he trains 5 hours a day.
“I can not describe my feeling that I certified for the Tokyo Olympics.”
Final Might, he positioned seventh on the Asian championships and eighth on the Uzbekistan world championships for athletes below 20 years of age, the place he carried out a 141kg snatch and a 171kg pull for a complete weight of 312kg in each. lifts.
“I hope to attain a brand new private file … and be within the prime 10,” mentioned Hamada, who’s heading to Japan on July 20, three days earlier than the scheduled begin of the Video games.
The entry and exit of Gaza is managed by Israel and Egypt, and restrictions have elevated for the reason that Islamist group Hamas took management of the coastal strip in 2007.
Hamada and his brother, Hussam, who can be the coach of the Palestinian nationwide weightlifting crew, didn’t wish to take any probabilities and headed to Doha.
“That is the primary Palestinian participation in weightlifting historical past in historical past,” Hussam mentioned. “Coaching is a sophisticated course of, and the athlete being my brother made it simpler for me.”
He mentioned Palestinian athletes suffered from an absence of well-equipped golf equipment, enough coaching instruments and elevated worldwide participation in competitions exterior their territories.
Palestine has been collaborating within the Olympic Video games for the reason that institution of the Palestinian Authority in 1996, following the primary peace agreements with Israel.
Asad Al-Majdalawi, vp of the Palestinian Olympic Committee, mentioned Hamada’s participation was an achievement no matter whether or not he gained a medal.
“It’s a legendary occasion to have Mohammad Hamada, an bold younger champion from Palestine, from Gaza, who witnessed wars and blockades, in Tokyo waving the Palestinian flag and competing towards world champions,” he mentioned.
Majdalawi mentioned 4 different Palestinian athletes from Gaza, the Israeli-occupied West Financial institution and East Jerusalem would compete within the Video games.
“We hope to put in writing a Palestinian file in Olympic competitions, no matter what that file is,” he instructed Reuters.
At Hamada’s residence in Gaza Metropolis, her dad and mom proudly displayed numerous gold, silver and bronze medals.
“Mohammad achieved our dream, a dream that we had waited for a very long time,” mentioned his father, Khamees. “I’m relieved… I’m happy with Mohammad and Hussam. We bought to Tokyo. “