Jordanian gymnast talks career, sport in Jordan

Ahmad Abu Al-Saud preforms on the horse pommel in this undated photo. (Photo: Handout from the Jordanian Gymnastics Federation)
AMMAN — National gymnast, Ahmed Abu Al-Saud, has been able to weave his amateur beginnings in the sport into an active role, becoming a darling of the gymnastics’ community. اضافة اعلان

He recently sat down with Jordan News to talk about his career and contributions to the sport, specifically on the pommel horse. 

Regarding the beginning of his gymnastics career, Saud (aged 26) said: “My beginning in gymnastics was by accident, my father noticed my gymnastics talent when I was 4 years old, I was hyperactive and I loved jumping in the air and walking on both hands, it was a hobby and now it runs in my blood.” 

Saud holds a bachelor’s degree in sports education from the University of Jordan and comes from an athletic family; his father previously played soccer and did bodybuilding, which he said taught him about the importance of having a strict diet. “I care a lot about my diet and how healthy the food is that I eat, I have to eat six meals at specific times,” he said. 

Saud also spoke about the difficulties he and his fellow gymnasts face: “The absence of financial support is the most significant of the difficulties we face, where there is almost no private company orientated to support individual games, forcing some to seek sources of income besides sports, which may be an obstacle to its (gymnastics’) development.”

Saud hopes to one day qualify and compete at the Olympics, but he admitted that the path to qualification in a sport as competitive as gymnastics is extremely arduous. “It’s very difficult to qualify for the Olympic games gymnastics. … but the way to qualify is by accumulating points over two years, or competing with 250 to 500 players; ensuring a spot among the top three at the World Championships to qualify for the Olympics seems difficult but not impossible.”

However, he added that Jordan has seen success in recent years. In 2016, it captured bronze at the 2016 world cup in Turkey, the gold at the 2019 Asia championship, and the gold at the 2021 world cup in Turkey.

Jordan has also won the Arab Cup three times. 

The gymnast said that his personal most notable achievement was inventing a movement on the horse pommel that bears his name and has been included in international regulations.

Saud also said that he appreciated the support of Her Royal Highness Princess Rahma, president of the Jordanian Gymnastics Federation, “Her Royal Highness Princess Rahma had always been generous with her support for athletes, she was and will remain our first proponent in gymnastics.” 

“God willing there will be a remarkable development in my performance at the horse pommel level. I work with my coach to add moves to raise the mark. There’s the next Russian Championship on November 24, and four world cups and the Asian Championship next year.” 

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