The Qatar Olympic Committee celebrated its 45th anniversary, GETTY IMAGES

The committee has won eight Olympic medals since its inception in 1979. Suleiman opened the tally in the 1,500 metres at Barcelona 92. As a country, Qatar has been a pioneer in hosting international events. It will be the first Arab country to host the FIFA World Cup in 2022.

The Qatar Olympic Committee (QOC) has been promoting and developing the Olympic Movement in accordance with the principles of the Olympic Charter for almost half a century. It was created on 14 March 1979. Since then it has continued to grow.

Its achievements include 8 Olympic medals, two gold, two silver and four bronze. Mohamed Suleiman won Qatar's first Olympic medal, a bronze in the 1,500 metres at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona. The medal was won by the Spanish athlete Fermín Cacho.

The second medal was won by Asaad Saeed Saif. He won a bronze in the 105kg weightlifting event at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney. This was followed by Mutaz Barshim's silver in the men's high jump and Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah's bronze in the men's trap shooting at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.

The Qatar Olympic Committee has won eight Olympic medals in its history. GETTY IMAGES
The Qatar Olympic Committee has won eight Olympic medals in its history. GETTY IMAGES

At Rio 2016, Mutaz Barshim again won silver in the high jump, before Qatar topped the overall Arab rankings at the recent Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, with Mutaz Barshim and weightlifter Fares Ibrahim winning two gold medals and the beach volleyball team taking bronze.

Qatari teams have also achieved success and prominence outside the Olympic Games over the past 45 years. They have excelled in organising major sporting events, making Qatar a global sporting capital in line with the vision of the Qatar Olympic Committee: "To be a pioneering nation that unites the world through sustainable sports development".

One of Qatar's most notable achievements was the hosting of the 1995 FIFA U-20 World Cup, which they successfully managed despite only being granted the right to govern two weeks before the event. Qatar was also the first Arab country to host the Asian Games in 2006 and was also a pioneer when hosted the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

Qatar's first Olympic medal came in athletics. GETTY IMAGES
Qatar's first Olympic medal came in athletics. GETTY IMAGES

At the 2015 Men's Handball World Championship, where the Qatari team finished second, they were also pioneers as the first Asian and Arab team to reach the podium at a world championship. In addition to football and handball, Qatar also hosted the 2010 World Indoor Athletics Championships, the 2015 World Boxing Championships, the 2018 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships and the 2019 Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) World Beach Games. 

Now, with 45 years of experience, they are already thinking about a new era and have mapped out their path to 2030, which is nothing less than achieving sporting excellence, and to achieve this, they will continue to support the Olympic Movement. 

Established on 14 March 1979, the Qatar Olympic Committee became a member of the International Olympic Committee in 1980, the Olympic Council of Asia in 1981 and the Union of Arab National Olympic Committees in 1982. Since its creation, the QOC has had several presidents: Sheikh Abdullah bin Khalifa Al-Thani, Sheikh Mohammed bin Fahad Al-Thani, Sheikh Saud bin Khalid Al-Thani, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani and the current Chairman, Sheikh Joaan bin Hamad Al-Thani.