Qatar’s high jumper Mutaz Barshim has won medals at ever senior level, but there are two things he’s determined to add to his collection.
In 2017, Barshim won the world title, Diamond League Champion, IAAF World Athlete of the Year and was the first high jumper since 2004 to be undefeated for an entire season.
Asked what his future targets are, Barshim was quick to point out “winning the Olympic gold is the ultimate goal for me.”
“I have already won Olympic silver and bronze but still not the gold.” He won silver in Rio 2016 and bronze in London 2012.
“I always try to find things that I haven’t achieved yet and make them my target, and this is how I always find new motivation. I want to achieve as much as possible”.
Apart from the Olympic title, the world-record of 2.45m set by Cuba’s Javier Sotomayor in 1993, is also on Barshim’s mind.
“If I don’t believe that I can, it is going to be a waste of time coming to the stadium and trying to achieve something there.”
However, Barshim, who has a personal best of 2.43m, believes to remove the world mark would “need the perfect day”.
The first thing he said he would have to be “good shape” and have “good conditions.”
“If it is rainy, windy or cold it is not going to be ideal to try to achieve the world record. Also, you need a strong competition where everybody pushes each other. I have been in a good shape for the world record a few times but I just need to be patient and wait for everything to come together in a competition, like the good weather and the good atmosphere.”
The 2019 World Championships will be hosted in his country, Doha, Qatar, and according to the star jumper, “I will not go for anything less than the gold.”
“When you compete in your home town, you want to make a spark, which will later become a legacy.”