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Saudi Olympic judo star sets her sights on 2024 Paris Games

Saudi judo star Tahani Al-Qahtani said she now has her sights set on the 2024 Games in Paris. (Supplied)
Saudi judo star Tahani Al-Qahtani said she now has her sights set on the 2024 Games in Paris. (Supplied)
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29 Dec 2021 06:12:01 GMT9
29 Dec 2021 06:12:01 GMT9
  • Tahani Al-Qahtani had her first taste of Olympic competition in Tokyo this summer, and says she aims to build on the experience she gained
  • She also plans to become an instructor and help train the next generation of female Saudi judo stars, and hopes the sport will be added to the curriculum in schools
Arab News

RIYADH: After competing at the Tokyo Olympics this summer, Saudi judo star Tahani Al-Qahtani, said she now has her sights set on the 2024 Games, in Paris, and hopes to win the Kingdom’s first gold medal.

The 22-year-old from Riyadh also revealed that she plans to become an instructor and train the next generation of Saudi women in judo, and hopes that it will be added to the curriculum in Saudi schools.

RIYADH: After competing at the Tokyo Olympics this summer, Saudi judo star Tahani Al-Qahtani, said she now has her sights set on the 2024 Games, in Paris, and hopes to win the Kingdom’s first gold medal.

The 22-year-old from Riyadh also revealed that she plans to become an instructor and train the next generation of Saudi women in judo, and hopes that it will be added to the curriculum in Saudi schools.

“I want to qualify for the next Olympics with my efforts, after I had the opportunity to participate in the last Olympics in Tokyo, and to accomplish a great achievement and win a gold medal in the name of the Kingdom.”

She said that she gained valuable experience competing in Tokyo, and although she suffered a quick defeat against her first opponent, from Slovenia, when she faced her next rival, from Israel, she performed better and held out for longer before losing. As a result, she said, she was satisfied with her performance and believes the experience was a step forward in her judo career.

Al-Qahtani had planned to compete in the Grand Slam Paris and the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam events in October and November this year, but said a hand injury prevented this and her recovery will take another four months.

She revealed that she was inspired to take up judo when, while playing basketball with a team at King Saud University in Riyadh, “I saw a coach wearing a judo suit and she caught my attention. So, I followed her and talked to her about the sport and finally decided to take up judo. Consequently, I became one of the first Saudi competitors in this fun sport, with my teammates Raneem Harish and Hessa Al-Maliki.

“I traveled to Egypt and joined a training camp when I still had an orange belt. I watched the African champions and admired their excellence in the sport and wanted to reach their levels.”

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