Qatar’s high jump world champion Barshim scales new heights as a cook


Doha, Qatar, May 14, 2020: Qatar’s world champion Mutaz Essa Barshim is spending the enforced lockdown at home scaling new heights in the kitchen and lifting the lid to uncover that he is a talented cook. 

“I have begun cooking and I’m surprisingly getting better at it. My wife is a great cook and she helps me get better at it,” Barshim told the Gulf Times in an interview this week.

Barshim, who won the high jump gold medal at the 2019 World Athletic Championships in Doha - successfully defending his title won at the 2017 showpiece in London – has been using the enforced downtime due to the coronavirus lockdown training and cooking at home.

“It is the first time I have spent Ramadan in Doha since, I think, 2009. I am only travelling, training and competing most of the time,” the Rio Olympics silver medallist said.

Apart from pottering around his home and working on a graffiti wall, Barshim is contented helping his wife turn out tasty dishes. “We make Arabic dishes, majbous, we bake, date cakes, banana cakes, chocolate fondants, pastas. It’s good that we are in a position to do this.”

Barshim, who turns 29 next month, disclosed after the 2019 Worlds that he still wasn’t at a 100 per cent, revealing the unscheduled extended break could give his body time to recover completely in time for the re-scheduled Tokyo 2020 Olympics next year. He is now looking forward to getting back on track.

“Everybody is training at whatever levels they can. I can’t get to a track. We can only do body weights, movement and cardio. No one wants to hit full-time training without at least some fitness, even if it is 30 to 40 per cent,” he added.