AL KESBEH EYES OLYMPIC RETURN
Jan 19, 2018
One of Jordan’s top boxers has revealed that watching Ahmad Abu Ghaush win gold provides him with his daily motivation to become the world’s best.
Obadah Al Kesbeh was one of the privileged few in the arena that watched history made in Rio de Janeiro when Abu Ghaush became the first ever Jordanian to not only win an Olympic medal, but to strike Taekwondo gold.
The 23-year-old had already competed at the Games, narrowly losing his opening bout, but he has redoubled his efforts since his Olympic debut to step up his game and pressure for a podium in Tokyo in 2020.
“Qualifying to Rio was the greatest moment of my life,” recalled Al Kesbeh. “I missed out in the quarter-finals at the Asian qualifying event but was still asked to compete in Rio because of my performances.”
He joined teammate and close friend Hussein Ishaiash at the Olympics, the first time that Jordan has sent two boxers to the same Games. And the experience has inspired him.
“The Olympics atmosphere is totally different from any games,” said the 2013 Asian silver medalist. “It was not an easy fight for me over there; I was nervous as that was my first time in the Olympics. I lost it (the fight) but I learned a lot and particularly how to win next time.”
But it was that historic moment that drives him forward every single morning during his gruelling training schedule.
“Abu Ghaush winning was an unbelievable feeling,” he said. “It was like a once in a life time experience to be there and see the first medal for Jordan. We all celebrated together there and and Jordan went crazy at home. I want to be the hero of this moment again; I want to copy this achievement and win gold for my country.
“Abu Ghaush's achievement has been giving us all the motivation moving forward. Things are different in Jordan sport now as we have greater support as athletes. There are no obstacles or excuses now in our quest to be our best.
"I want to be back at the Olympic again in Tokyo. I want to inspire the next generation and prove that Jordan is always first.”