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From Aspire Academy To
The Two Times World Champion

Rio, 1 August 2016. He is a World Champion in high jump, he won a bronze medal for Qatar at the 2012 London Olympics and some say it’s only a matter of time until be breaks the world record. Aspire Academy graduate Mutaz Essa Barshim keeps challenging gravity on a daily basis, which makes him one of Qatar’s great medal hopes for the 2016 Olympic Games.

 

“What gravity huh?!!” The slogan on his caps says it all. Mutaz does not believe in limits. And many people don’t only see him as one of the candidates for the podium in Rio, but also one of the jumpers most likely to one day break Javier Sotomayor’s high jump world record of 2.45m. Are these high expectations more a curse than a blessing for the 25-year-old? “For sure, the more successful you become, the more people expect of you. But I always try to look on the positive side. So: Motivation rather than pressure. And obviously I’m doing what I love.”

 

Mutaz comes from a family with a passion for sports: All five of his siblings are into sports; his younger brother Moamer is following in his footsteps as a high jumper and came second only to Mutaz at the GCC Athletics Championships in Doha in 2013. Father Essa Mohamed Barshim was a middle- and long-distance runner before turning to coaching. “As a kid I played football, like most boys. It was my father who introduced me to track and field. Al Rayyan coach Abdul Hamdi spotted my talent and I then joined the long, triple and high jump teams.”

From Aspire Academy To
The Two Times World Champion

Rio, 1 August 2016. He is a World Champion in high jump, he won a bronze medal for Qatar at the 2012 London Olympics and some say it’s only a matter of time until be breaks the world record. Aspire Academy graduate Mutaz Essa Barshim keeps challenging gravity on a daily basis, which makes him one of Qatar’s great medal hopes for the 2016 Olympic Games.

 

“What gravity huh?!!” The slogan on his caps says it all. Mutaz does not believe in limits. And many people don’t only see him as one of the candidates for the podium in Rio, but also one of the jumpers most likely to one day break Javier Sotomayor’s high jump world record of 2.45m. Are these high expectations more a curse than a blessing for the 25-year-old? “For sure, the more successful you become, the more people expect of you. But I always try to look on the positive side. So: Motivation rather than pressure. And obviously I’m doing what I love.”

 

Mutaz comes from a family with a passion for sports: All five of his siblings are into sports; his younger brother Moamer is following in his footsteps as a high jumper and came second only to Mutaz at the GCC Athletics Championships in Doha in 2013. Father Essa Mohamed Barshim was a middle- and long-distance runner before turning to coaching. “As a kid I played football, like most boys. It was my father who introduced me to track and field. Al Rayyan coach Abdul Hamdi spotted my talent and I then joined the long, triple and high jump teams.”

From Aspire Academy To
The Two Times World Champion

Rio, 1 August 2016. He is a World Champion in high jump, he won a bronze medal for Qatar at the 2012 London Olympics and some say it’s only a matter of time until be breaks the world record. Aspire Academy graduate Mutaz Essa Barshim keeps challenging gravity on a daily basis, which makes him one of Qatar’s great medal hopes for the 2016 Olympic Games.

 

“What gravity huh?!!” The slogan on his caps says it all. Mutaz does not believe in limits. And many people don’t only see him as one of the candidates for the podium in Rio, but also one of the jumpers most likely to one day break Javier Sotomayor’s high jump world record of 2.45m. Are these high expectations more a curse than a blessing for the 25-year-old? “For sure, the more successful you become, the more people expect of you. But I always try to look on the positive side. So: Motivation rather than pressure. And obviously I’m doing what I love.”

 

Mutaz comes from a family with a passion for sports: All five of his siblings are into sports; his younger brother Moamer is following in his footsteps as a high jumper and came second only to Mutaz at the GCC Athletics Championships in Doha in 2013. Father Essa Mohamed Barshim was a middle- and long-distance runner before turning to coaching. “As a kid I played football, like most boys. It was my father who introduced me to track and field. Al Rayyan coach Abdul Hamdi spotted my talent and I then joined the long, triple and high jump teams.”