Mahmoud Al Sajjan is one of the world’s best at his chosen sport of Karate but he never stops working hard to improve. The JOC caught up with him to find out more about the champion.
Tell us about how and why you got into Karate?
I didn’t start Karate until I was 15, and I was drawn to it because of the movies I saw it in. I have always had an admiration for martial arts and I love the sport.
How did your career take off?
I was chosen as a member of the national team to compete in the Islamic Solidarity Games held in Indonesia in 2013. I was so proud to wear national team gear as it was a dream that became true.
I lost my first match because of faults, but it is the memory of a lifetime to represent my country for the first time. It was an incredible experience to fight against athltes from Asian and Africa and it made me want more.
What is the highlight of your career?
It was when I qualified to the final of the WKF Asian Championships in 2018 hosted in Jordan. I enjoyed full support from my friends and the general public. What a great feeling it was to compete among your own people and book a place in the final. It’s something you can’t describe.
What have been the challenges faced in your career?
It has been a difficult balancing act between work and sport, but that is a challenge that has passed now and now I’m in a better place.
Is there a fight or an opponent you always remember?
There is no particular hard opponent. They are all tough is a tough and you need to study their technique and then to play with confidence against him.
If you weren’t a Karate fighter, what sports would you play?
I want to have a world gold medal and qualify to the Olympic Games. Now with the postponement of Tokyo 2020 to next year, I have a better chance to accomplish this dream and I will fight for it.