New Delhi, February 3, 2016- Two shooters from Qatar have qualified for the Rio de Janeiro Olympics later this year bringing much cheer to the country that was reeling from the disappointment of its football team narrowly missing the cut.
Yesterday, Rashid Saleh Hamad and Vitaliy Dovgun clinched quota berths at the Asian Olympic Qualifying Tournament in New Delhi. Incidentally, the event in the Indian capital offered the last chance for shooters from Asian countries to book their tickets to Brazil.
Rashid finished fifth in the skeet competition, but still clinched the berth because he had achieved the minimum qualification score. He hit 14 out of 16 targets in the competition, which was won by two-time ISSF World Cup medallist Saif Bin Futtais of the UAE.
In the gold medal shoot-off after both had tied with 16 in regulation, bin Futtais bested Independent Shooting Participant Saud Habib 13-12.
However, since bin Futtais had already earned his spot during last year’s World Cup, Habib grabbed the first of the four Olympic quota slots up for grabs in this event.
Two more shooters from the United Arab Emirates battled for the second quota for Rio 2016 where Saeed al-Maktoum beat his teammate Mohamed Ahmad 15-14.
The third and the fourth Olympic quota places thus went to Qatar’s Hamad and Independent Shooting Participant Abdullah al-Rashidi.
Dovgun, meanwhile, finished fifth in the Rifle 50m 3 Positions with a total of 416.9 to grab a quota place. The competition was won by South Korea’s Kim Jong-hyun, while Yuri Yurkov of Kazakhstan and Toshikazu Yamashita of Japan finished second and third respectively.
The Qatar shooting and Archery Federation expressed its happiness at the shooters’ achievement.
“We congratulate them on their success and hope they will do well at the Olympics,” the federation said.
Qatar’s handball team have already qualified for the Olympics.