Most top athletes gain their inspiration from an international star, local hero or a father figure, but one of Jordan’s most exciting prospects says that it is his mum who is driving him forward towards his Tokyo 2020 Olympic destiny.
At 19, Mohammad Fahed has become a sporting hero in Jordan after finishing fifth at the recent World U21 Championships, where many potential Olympians were on show and hoping to impress ahead of the sport’s return to the roster in Tokyo.
It means that there are long days of training ahead and tournaments around the world to compete at in his quest to qualify, but his inspiration spurring him on to greatness is watching most of the time from afar in the family home.
“My mum is the secret behind my achievements, she is simply the source of my power,” said Fahed.
“Since Karate was approved for a return to Tokyo 2020, my dream to compete at the Olympics began and there is not a day that passes without me thinking about being in Tokyo.
There will be nothing that can stop me on my road there.” The youngster’s adventure began way back in 2003 at the age of just five when he was the youngest fighter attending sessions at his local centre.
His journey has been interrupted by injury, but each time he has come back stronger to establish himself as a force on the world scene for his age group.
“I had faced many hard decisions due to my injuries over the years,” he said. “But each time I have trained harder to return stronger than before. I just love Karate so much and cannot imagine myself away from it.”
At last month’s World Championships, Fahed was the top Jordanian performer and is emerging as one of the Kingdom’s great hopes for Olympic glory.
“It was my third time to be in a World Championships but this was one of the toughest events that I have ever competed in.
The bar has been raised by a number of countries but next time I will make sure I am on the podium.”
Medals have been won on the Arab and Asian level and he believes it is only a matter of time before global silverware is won.
“In Spain, I won four fights but was so close to be on the podium, losing by superiority only.
My coach was satisfied with my level of performance, but we know I can get better.”
Fahed heaped praise on his coach, Nael Oeimer, who was the one who recognised his early talent and has trained him throughout. “He is tough but fair and works hard to bring the best out of us all.
I owe a lot to him.
There are less than three years until the next Olympics and few are ruling out the possibility that this determined young man will be flying the Jordanian flag high and proud in the Far East.