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A Coming of Age for Aia Mohamed, a Coming of Age in Olympic History
By: Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor


Aia Mohamed is London bound and is creating history  Photo By: Jamal Hakouz

07/12/2012        2012 Olympic Games (Click here to access this section)

Aia Mohamed comes of age on Wednesday 1st August; it’s the date she celebrates her 18th birthday.

The day is during the Olympic Games and for the young lady from Qatar there is a further coming of age. She has received a late entry to compete in the London Olympic Games. It is an addition to the already published lists, not a replacement.

Qatar’s leading female player, in the splendours of London's ExCeL Arena, she will compete in the Women’s Singles event.

The addition of Aia Mohamed follows efforts by the International Olympic Committee to promote gender equality, a feature of the Olympic Charter.

Zero in London
At the 1996 Olympic Games a total of 26 National Olympic Committees had yet to include female athletes in their delegations, in Beijing the number had been reduced to three; in London it is zero.

Final Three
In addition to Qatar, Brunei Darussalam and Saudi Arabia will be sending female athletes to the London Olympic Games; thus Olympic history is made in England’s capital city.

London Landmark
“With Saudi Arabian female athletes now joing their fellow female competitors from Qatar and Brunei Darussalam, it means that by London 2012 every National Olympic Committee will have sent women to the Olympic Games”, said Jacques Rogge, the President of the International Olympic Committee who has very much championed gender equality in sport.

Furthermore, in London women’s boxing is included for the first time in the Olympic programme; thus for the first time in the 116 year old history of the Olympic Games, women compete in every sport for the first time.

Bronze Medallist – Peace and Sport Cup
A right handed attacking player, Aia Mohamed competed earlier in the year at the GAC GROUP 2012 ITTF World Tour Qatar Open, having in November 2011 partnered China’s Cao Zhen in the Peace and Sport Cup also staged in Doha.

The duo accounted for India’s Poulomi Ghatak and Pakistan’s Sadia Falal Sher in the quarter-finals before losing to the eventual winners, Russia’s Anna Tikomirova and Lily Zhang from the United States.

Reaching the semi-final in the Peace and Sport Cup was a most creditable performance and in 2011, Aia Mohamed enjoyed further success.

Success in 2011
In April she was a member of the successful Qatar Junior Girls’ Team at the West Asian Junior Tournament in Jordan and later in the year was the silver medallist in the Women’s Doubles event at the Arab Games in Doha.

Meanwhile, in 2010, she was a member of the bronze medal winning Qatari Junior Girls’ Team at the Arab Team Championships in Bahrain; whilst in 2009 she secured three gold medals at the 4th Gulf Women’s Table Tennis Championships.

She emerged successful in the Women’s Team competition, the Women’s Singles and the Women’s Doubles.

Second Qatari Table Tennis Olympian
At the London 2012 Olympic Games, Aia Mohamed will compete in the Women’s Singles event.

She is the second ever athlete from Qatar to compete in the table tennis events at the Olympic Games; the one other is Hamad Al-Hammadi.

He played in the Men’s Singles event in Atlanta in 1996 and four years later in Sydney.
 

   

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