On 21st July 2018, Dr. Jamal Rashid Al Khanji one of the Team Qatar Channel Swim members will be taking part in the popularily known challenge “la manche”, swimming more than 40km across the English channel, on a relay basis.The team members are Dr. Faleh Ali, Dr. Mohammed Jaham Al Kuwari, Dr. Jamal Rashid Al Khanji, Dr. Khalid Al Jalham, Prof. Nasser Al Mohannadi, Fahad Al Buenain and Talal Al Emadi. This will be a historical event as the team will be the first Qatari team to swim across the channel.
Dr Jamal Al Khanji was born on the 23rd February 1973. He is a businessman in the field of Healthcare services and consulting. He holds a Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery degree, a Bachelor of Arts in Obstetrics (MB Bch BAO) from Ireland (2000), as well as, a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) from Qatar (2010).
ProTV the appointed Media Support Services provider and sponsor of the Team Qatar Channel Swim, which will take place on the 21st July, 2018. Dr Jamal Al Khanji provided the following answers to the following questions about the challenge.
Why are you taking on this challenge?
“I am very proud to be able to represent my country, in an event where only a few people have succeeded at accomplishing, throughout history. I am always excited about extremely difficult challenges and doing things that can push me to the limit. I love to explore my capabilities and put myself to the test especially in ultra-long and ultra-difficult conditions. The English Channel swim provides all of this. It’s a gruesome challenge, where only a few hundreds have succeeded and thousands failed to complete, over the past century. This kind of challenge makes you appreciate life more and pushes you out of our comfort zone. It also prepares you for the unknown. I like a quote from former US President John F. Kennedy, “Every accomplishment starts with the decision to try”. We will try, and trying in itself, is a great honor.”
Are you well prepared for it?
“Yes, we started with a training camp in Doha last January, before travelling to Opatija in Croatia for another intensive training camp. There we spent long hours swimming in cold water, with temperatures between 10-16 degrees Celsius. We later had another training camp in UK to get a little bit familiar with swimming in the channel.”
How is the atmosphere inside the team?
“We are all optimistic and well-focused on reaching our target. I feel privileged to be a part of this team. Everyone of us has put a lot of effort and dedication to make this happen. It’s inspiring to see a group of non-professional athletes with busy schedules, attempting something like this, in an area they were not necessarily familiar with few months ago.”
You are a successful businessman; how did sport help you in life and career?
“It completely changed my life. No one would believe that few years back I weighed around 166 kgs and now I am only 90 kgs. I turned 45 last February and I practice cycling, running, swimming, diving and spearfishing. I also take part in triathlons, desert treks and ultra-marathons. A couple of months ago I finished “Samla” and it was a great feeling. I started my career as cardiac surgeon, but later decided to launch my own businesses in the fields of Healthcare services & consulting. Then, my love for spearfishing encouraged me to launch an international academy for this sport. Sport changed the way I see things, made me more positive, taught me how to achieve my goals and to take risks in life.”
How do you find time to exercise with all these work responsibilities?
“The key is to organize your day and set aside a specific amount of time to exercise. If you spend your day without a plan, you will not achieve anything. I never skip exercising, because I know it will help me in everything else I do in life. We are taking the Channel Swim challenge to show our community that nothing is impossible, and to tell everyone that sport has to be part of your everyday life whatever your work responsibilities.”