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Kuwait's shooting star Mohammad Aldaihani aims for Olympic glory

Published at :May 28, 2024 at 12:03 AM
Modified at :May 28, 2024 at 12:03 AM
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(Courtesy : ISSF)

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Shotgun shooter aims to continue Kuwait’s shooting tradition.

Kuwait’s Mohammad Aldaihani (pictured right) delighted home spectators in January as he earned himself a skeet men Paris Olympics quota place at the Asia Olympic Qualification Shotgun held in Kuwait City. At the age of 40 he is now set to follow in the footsteps of his father, Naif Aldaihani, who competed in the skeet event at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.

Kuwait has a great tradition in the Olympic shotgun events. How conscious are you of this tradition, how proud are you to be a part of it, and how do you explain this continuing success story for your country?

Despite the small size of the State of Kuwait and its small population, and consequently the small number of people who practise the hobby of shooting, it is considered superior and appreciated.

If we review the results of shooting in Kuwait, we will find that they are distinguished and superior at the regional, continental, and global levels.

The best evidence of this is what the Kuwaiti shooters have achieved. Fehaid Al-Daihani won one gold and two bronze Olympic medals, and Abdullah Al-Rashidi won two Olympic bronzes.

These achievements are considered a source of pride for Kuwait, as well as an inspiration for all Kuwaiti shooters, and I am one of them. I have now become convinced and confident that the possibility of Olympic participation is neither far-fetched nor impossible to achieve.

You delighted your home audience when you earned an Olympic quota place for skeet men at the Asian Championships in Kuwait City and went on to take a bronze. Was that the greatest moment of your career so far? What are your best memories of it?

Indeed, after a journey, effort and diligence with the Kuwaiti shooting team in many continental and international championships, I was able to achieve many medals, the most recent of which was the bronze medal in the Asian Championship in Kuwait, as well as the qualifying card for the 2024 Paris Olympics.

 Everyone I know felt very happy, and I consider it one of the most important and greatest milestones in my personal life and sports career.

You are now set for your first Olympics – at the age of 40. Why do you think you have managed to reach such a high point at this stage in your career?

This achievement was not possible except with the support and encouragement of my family, represented by my father, Naif Aldaihani, who was a champion skeet shooter, as well as with the support of the Kuwait Shooting Federation.

What now are your hopes for Paris 2024 and plans for this season? How happy are you with your form right now?

Currently, I am in the stage of technical preparation to participate in the Paris Olympics, which is a stage full of determination and hope.

Regarding the quota place, it’s fixed – we don’t face any national trials.

What has been your biggest challenge so far in your career?

If we want to address the most difficult and important challenges that I face, it is to devote myself to an appropriate and sufficient period of time and to be highly focused during the period of preparation and preparation at all technical, physical and mental levels.

Knowing that in Kuwait we do not practise shooting professionally and are considered amateurs, and despite this, greater and greater achievements have been accomplished.

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