Qatar’s reigning Olympic and three-time World high jump champion Mutaz Essa Barshim was chosen as Asia’s Best Male Athlete of 2023 during the Asian Athletics Association’s 50th-anniversary celebrations in Bangkok, Thailand, on Monday.
Mutaz, who also won the Asian award in 2018, was absent during the ceremony. His father Essa Barshim, a former athlete himself, collected the accolade in his absence.
The 32-year-old, who started his season with the West Asia Athletics Championships in April and the Doha Diamond League in May, is gearing up for September’s Asian Games in Hangzhou. He will be looking for his third continental gold medal after triumphs in 2010 Guangzhou and 2014 Incheon Asiad.
Qatar Athletics Federation (QAF) President Mohammed Issa Al Fadala praised Mutaz’s achievement.
“I want to congratulate Qatar Olympic Committee President HE Sheikh Joaan bin Hamad on the occasion of Mutaz being named as Asia’s Best Male Athlete for the second time,” Al Fadala said.
“This achievement reflects Mutaz’s consistent performances and showcases the continuous presence of Qatari athletes on podiums. Furthermore, we celebrate five Qatari champions — Mohammed Suleiman, Ibrahim Ismail, Talal Mansoor, Mutaz Barshim and Ismail Abkar — who demonstrates the stability and excellence of Qatar athletics,” he added.
Mutaz will be aiming to win an unprecedented fourth back-to-back world title when the competition travels to Budapest next month.