Al Attiyah the hero as Qatar clinch two medals; Younousse and Tijan eye gold

Doha, Qatar: Legendary Nasser Saleh Al Attiyah excelled in team skeet shooting event to help his side earn a silver medal and later clinched an individual bronze in the same discipline as Qatar opened their medals tally at the Hangzhou Asian Games yesterday.

Qatar’s skeet team also comprising Al Athba brothers – Masoud and Rashid – accumulated 359 points to finish three points behind gold medal winners China, which included Yunxuan Wu, Jiangchi Liu and Xu Han.

India comprising Anantjeet Singh Naruka, Gurjoat Siingh Khangura and Angad Vir Singh Bajwa bagged bronze with a score of 355.

Qatar shooters Nasser Saleh Al Attiyah, Mosoud Al Athba and Rashid Al Athba celebrate on the podium after winning the silver medal in the team skeet event yesterday. Asian Athletics Association President Dahlan Al Hamad is also present.

Multi-talented sports star Al Attiyah, a London Games bronze medallist, shot a total of 122 points throughout the five rounds of the team event with Rashid and Masoud contributing with 118 and 116 points respectively.

The 52-year-old rally star, also a five-time Dakar Rally champion, then claimed a bronze medal in individual skeet with a score of 46. Kuwait’s Abdullah Al Rashidi won gold medal with a perfect 60 while India’s Naruka took silver medal in the event with 58 hits in the final.

Al Attiyah said his performance at Asian Games will help him with 2024 Paris Olympics his next target.

“These medals are a boost for me ahead of the qualifiers for Paris Olympics,” he said.

“It was a tough competition throughout the event. We are delighted to clinch a silver medal and a bronze medal in skeet and I want to thank the Qatar Olympic Committee for all their support. My target was to win gold in individual skeet but hats off to Abdullah Al Rashidi who was outstanding in the event,” he added.

Qatar’s women shooters also impressed yesterday as ace Reem Al Sharshani missed out on a medal, finishing fifth with 27 hits out of 30.

The women’s skeet team comprising Hajar Mohammed and Sarah Mohammed besides Al Sharshani ended on fifth position with a score of 334 with Kazakhstan sealing the gold with a total of 350.

Qatar's Ahmed Tijan (left) and Cherif Younousse will compete in the beach volleyball final today.

Meanwhile, Qatar will be hoping for their first gold in Hangzhou today as beach volleyball stars Cherif Younousse and Ahmed Tijan will take on China’s Ha Likejiang Wu Jiaxin in the final.

The Al Annabi duo, eyeing their second straight title at the Asian Games, has been in phenomenal form in the competition and will come into the final following their emphatic victory over Kazakhstan in the semi-final.

“We are determined to win the gold again,” Younousse said ahead of the final.

“China will be toughest opponents at this stage but we will give our best to win gold medal and make our fans happy,” he added.

Second straight win for handball team

Yesterday, defending champions Qatar registered their second consecutive victory in men’s handball beating South Korea 37-27 in Group B.

Rafael Capote and Amir Denguir were the standout performers for the side scoring seven and six goals respectively.

Qatar will meet Kazakhstan in their next match tomorrow.

Also, the Qatar 3x3 basketball team continued its fine show beating Kazakhstan 19-11 for a second straight win in Pool D. They will look to maintain their winning form when they meet Kyrgyzstan in their third match today.

Football team makes exit

Meanwhile, Qatar’s U-23 football team was knocked out of the Asian Games following a 1-0 defeat to China in a hotly-contested Round of 16 clash at the Huanglong Sports Center Stadium.

Tao Qianglong secured a third minute goal for the hosts by slotting in a header. China squandered several other chances to score in the match, which saw Qatar’s Jassem Jaber and China’s Sheng Longjiang being sent off in the stoppage time after clashing with each other.

China will now take on South Korea, who beat Kyrgyzstan 5-1 in the quarter-finals.

“We deserved a better result as we played a good match,” Qatar U-23 coach Ildio Vale said yesterday.

“We are dejected with the defeat but players gave a spirited performance and will take back valuable experience,” he added.