Mohammed Hamada is gearing up for Paris 2024 in Doha. GETTY IMAGES

Qatar has welcomed weightlifting star Mohammed Hamada to the kingdom, with the aim of helping him gear up for the upcoming Paris Olympics this summer.

Hamada became the first athlete from his country, Palestine, to compete at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, where he finished 13th in the 96 kg category. The 22-year-old is now eyeing a place in the French capital and has already arrived in the capital of Qatar, Doha, following the ongoing conflict in Gaza.

He will undergo the necessary training, with the local federation helping him towards his goal of competing in the competition next month. Hamada did manage to compete in the 2024 IWF World Cup, held in Phuket, Thailand, back in March, the last qualification phase before the Games.

In the 96kg category, which is not classified at the Olympics any longer, he is expected to take centre stage in the 102kg category, where he has previously ranked ninth with 100-120-220. Given the challenging circumstances, it is not the greatest he has achieved. During the 2021 IWF World Junior Championships, he lifted 141-171-312. In Japan, four years ago, he finished with a score of 137-173-310.

Mohammed Hamada (L) his coach, Mohamed Al Mana (Qatar Weightlifting Federation) and Mohammed Jalood (IWF President). IWF
Mohammed Hamada (L) his coach, Mohamed Al Mana (Qatar Weightlifting Federation) and Mohammed Jalood (IWF President). IWF

Arriving in the Gulf State, Hamada was welcomed by IWF President Mohammed Jalood, the President of the Asian Weightlifting Federation Mohamed Al Mana, and IWF Athletes Commission Chair Forrester Osei. While Hamada will undergo various training programmes, he will also be provided meals along with medical and physiotherapy facilities.

“It is our duty to welcome and support any athlete having problems in his country,” Mr Al Mana said. “We needed to ensure this athlete remains in good shape and can train in normal conditions, as we are confident he will be able to get a universal place for the Games. We are not doing this exclusively in Qatar. We are a weightlifting family, and we do this as a family, helping one of its members,” concluded Mr Al Mana.

“There is a very good infrastructure here for all those athletes aiming to train at the highest level. I used some of the facilities, and I must say that the work of the Qatar Weightlifting Federation has been amazing in developing the sport in this region of the world,” said Osei, representing Ghana in international events.

“Hamada will find a friendly and optimal environment here, and we will make our best to ensure his preparation is good, should he be selected for the Games in Paris,” said the IWF Athletes Commission chair.