Donia Abu Taleb’s Olympic qualification ‘historic’: Taekwondo chief

 "During a recent interview with Arab News, Al-Omari expressed his lack of surprise at our athlete's performance.

Al-Omari became emotional when Abu Taleb secured her place in Paris, shedding tears during the women's under-49 kg division competition at the Asian qualification tournament in Tai'an, China.

"It's a natural reaction to a national achievement that we've been striving for many years," he remarked, recalling the moment. "Donia Abu Taleb has put in a lot of effort and endured hardships, and we have shared in her struggles. In essence, it's the joy of representing our homeland through an exceptional and historic achievement by a Saudi woman who will proudly declare in Paris, 'I am here, and I am the daughter of this generous homeland.'"

Abu Taleb previously won a bronze medal at the Arab Taekwondo Championship Cup in 2022.

Al-Omari also highlighted the growth of taekwondo in the country. "We are thrilled about the achievements that have significantly developed taekwondo here in Saudi Arabia, resulting in numerous medal wins and strengthening our national teams with podium-capable athletes."

Since assuming leadership of the federation in 2017, Al-Omari's goal has been to cultivate Olympic-level athletes.

"Our dream has come true with the success of our hero Donia Abu Taleb, but I always emphasize that creating an Olympic champion requires collective efforts from various sectors, including family, education, and the local community where athletes reside," he explained.

"This is our focus. The Olympics pose significant challenges, but I have utmost confidence that taekwondo, along with other sports, will gain immense importance in the near future."

Al-Omari expressed gratitude to King Salman, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and the Minister of Sport for their support of athletes.

He also mentioned that Abu Taleb's accomplishment would inspire other athletes. "A few years ago, we only had 10,000 registered athletes, but now we have approximately 70,000, and our target is to reach 100,000 athletes soon."

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