Marksman Hamad has Olympics in his sights

4 March 2015

Champion marksman Hamad Almarri has his sights on two targets: a place in the Rio Olympics  - and using his University of Derby  studies to help his country become a world leader in staging international events.

Already an Asian Games gold medallist, Hamad is training hard to win a place in the 2016 Olympics so he can represent Qatar in clay-pigeon shooting.

“My father and grandfather were hunters –it’s traditional in our part of the world,” said Hamad, who began shooting with an air rifle as a boy but within months graduated to a shotgun.

Hamad has competed all over the world, from China to America.  Successes include being a finalist place in the 2014 World Cup in Kazakhstan, and gold and silver medals in competitions held in the Gulf. He also won gold in the 2014 Asian Championship  in South Korea.

But Hamad’s long-term target is to use his events management studies at the University’s Buxton campus to be part of Qatar’s 2030 National Vision programme, a blueprint for economic and social sustainability.

Hamad Almarri with shotgun

This vision includes making Qatar the setting for the biggest events on the globe such as the recent Handball World Cup in which Qatar came second, adding to the success of gaining the right to stage the Football World Cup 2022. 

“We have a very smart vision and leadership,” said Hamad, who works for the Qatar Olympic Committee. “It is becoming a new national industry for Qatar, which is going to be very strong in the sports field.”

At the University, he has combined his passion for shooting with his practical work, organising clay pigeon contests with the professionalism demanded by today’s events industry.

“It’s important that I fix what I’m learning in reality,” said Hamad, who praised his lecturers for their commitment to teaching about the real world.

 “It’s fantastic,” he said. “They are unique people – they have huge knowledge, are experts in their field and are very professional.”

These sporting honours have been matched by Hamad’s academic success which currently show him on course for a prize in his home country.