By Tom Degun

Noor Al Malki at London 2012January 27 - Noor Al Malki, the first ever female athlete to represent Qatar at the Olympic Games, has backed the upcoming National Sport Day in her home country.

The 18-year-old from Doha received huge media attention when she made history by lining up in the women's 100 metres at the London 2012 Olympic Games last summer.

Unfortunately Al Malki's Olympic dream did not end well as she was forced to retire after a couple of strides into her qualifying heat at the Olympic Stadium due to a pulled hamstring.

Al Malki, however, has become one of the most recognisable sport personalities in Qatar due to her feat of competing at the Olympics and she has shown her dedication to getting more women from her country into sport by backing the National Sport Day.

The National Sport Day will be held across Qatar next month on February 12 after it was created by the Deputy Emir and Heir Apparent HH Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani.

Al Malki is one of the most high-profile ambassadors for the event and said the initiative is a perfect opportunity to promote sports across the country.

Noor Al Malki 2Noor Al Malki’s historic appearance at the London 2012 Olympics proved anticlimactic as she was forced to retire in her 100 metre qualifying heat due to a pulled hamstring

"My health is better, I can feel my body stronger, my immune system runs smoothly and my social life has bloomed," she said.

"What else should I ask for?

"Practicing sports and especially athletics has changed my life, not to mention than I am far more recognisable than before.

"To be honest I haven't done many things yet; I want to keep on running and God's will to become one day a role model for the generation to come.

"I want to underline the necessity of practicing.

"People mustn't hesitate to put their sneakers on and join a gym.

"Practicing sports will make them feel more energetic, more powerful and healthier."

"Initiatives like the National Sport Day are advertising Qatar's willingness to become a sporting nation, to encourage people to become sport addicted.

"We can show other nations that our society is adopting the sport culture and is open to fresh ideas for a healthier and robust life."

Across the country, Government departments, public and private sector organisations and sports clubs will be organising sporting activities for all on February 12.

The event aims to create awareness about sports and its health benefits.

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