Qatar’s Mutaz Essa Barshim, who is enjoying is best season till date was welcomed with much fanfare on his return after a successful journey.
The World Champion earned Qatar’s first ever gold medal at the World Athletics Championships in London last month. He won all six Diamond League events he participated in, a feat which was last achieved in the men’s high jump back in 2004 by Stefan Holm.
He crowned his efforts with the world title victory at the London World Championships.
“It’s been a tremendous season for me and it is something I hope will continue. I’m really happy with the way it has ended and the achievements we’ve had. It’s been simply wonderful,” Barshim said on the sidelines of the event.
Speaking about his experience the tall athlete said that he would remember the event for a long time. He broke the tradition at the championships to clear the bar at about 6 feet, 4 inches by hurdling feet-first.
“It was a great experience and great atmosphere in London. It was the biggest competition in track and field outside the Olympics and to win gold at such an event is a great honour. The stadium was full to capacity and the pressure was very high. I’ve learnt to always stay focused and that’s exactly what I did and I got the job done.”
On how he coped with the pressure in London, Barshim said,”It was a welcomed pressure for me. It wasn’t a pressure of not having a place to sleep or what to eat, you know the kind of pressure that cracks you, but it was a kind of pressure that I enjoyed. It was a pressure that I was able to transform into something positive and I thank God for the achievements.”
He said that the process of putting himself under pressure was one of the secrets of his success.
The star jumper noted that though he would have loved to break his personal best of 2.43m but he was not disappointed as he won the competition.
“This is a championship season and what counts is getting the medal and since I got the medal, not making 2.44m doesn’t matter.
“Next season we will have the indoor championships and that is the next focus for us at the moment. When you don’t have major championships then you can focus on individual records,” he noted.
“I just want to be home and be with my family having been away for over five months now. I’m really happy to be back in Doha and I just want to be on my bed as soon as possible.
“For me, the season has ended and from now till January no competition. I just want to relax and allow my body to recover as much as possible,” Barshim said of his plans for the rest of the year.
Abdalelah Haroun, the 400m bronze medalist in London and Abdulrahman Samba, the 400m hurdles finalist were also honoured at the event on Tuesday.