Mohd Qabil Ambak Mahamad Fathil
09/11/2023 04:23 PM

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 9 (Bernama) -- National equestrian athlete Qabil Ambak Mahamad Fathil said  the intensive preparations for the Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games, which took place from Sept 23 to Oct 8, caused him to lose focus on qualifying for the Paris 2024 Olympics.

The 43-year-old athlete, who won gold in the individual dressage event in Hangzhou, China, said his intense training and focus on the Games, caused him to miss most of the qualifying tournaments that took place earlier this year.

"I missed many competitions and catching up is quite difficult, so I decided to focus on the Asian Games instead of the Olympics, but God willing, if there is support and help for the next Olympics, I can," he said when met by reporters yesterday.

The athlete, who has extensive experience of 28 years in the equestrian sport, said that the family situation and also the high cost of buying a horse, are also among the factors that he still does not plan to compete in the Olympic Games.

Qabil who won gold with his horse, Rosenstolz after recording 75.780 points at the Asian Games, received RM5,000 from the Federal Territories Sports Council for that success, yesterday.

Meanwhile, Qabil, who hinted at retirement, also gave tips to young talents in the sport to achieve success like him.

"I think young athletes should be willing to sacrifice time, energy and money for the country, the sacrifice is quite big as an athlete. Half of my life was spent in that sport and I think its a long journey, tough journey but in the end you will feel worth it by winning a gold medal.

"I think this is a memory that I cannot forget and to be able to contribute to the country and to represent Malaysia," he said, who is proud to have represented the country since 1995.

In the meantime, Qabil described his riding horse Rosenstolz, who has now 'retired', contributed a lot to him and his sister Quzandria Nur in winning gold and bronze medals in several SEA Games and Asian Games series.

"This Asian Games was the last competition and I think that was a good ending for him, now he has a nice retirement in Europe.

"I think the horse contributed a lot not only for me but for the country as well, so I think its about time he ages and I want to retire him. I think its not fair to push him, he has done a lot," he said while appreciating the compatibility of him and his sister with the horse until now.

According to him, compatibility with horses is very important to create success in the sport and it requires the cooperation of riders, trainers, veterinarians and horse keepers to realize it.