Table tennis player Aia Mohamed joined shooter Bahia Al Hamad as one of the first Qatari women to compete in an Olympic Games but admitted she was frightened by her history-making bow.
Aia lost a preliminary round match by 11-3, 11-7, 11-6, 11-3 to Zhang Mo of Canada, a China-born former world top 100 player.
“I was really afraid. I didn’t know how to play,” Aia admitted.
Whether her performance was affected by her late night after the opening ceremony was something about which she would not be drawn.
“I wasn’t expecting to be at the parade of nations and I was very proud to be there. I saw the rest (of the evening’s ceremony) on TV and I thought it was really nice.”
She also maintained a suitably positive attitude about what she will take from the defeat.
“I’m feeling good. I’ve learnt a lot,” she said. “It was a huge game so it is normal to be afraid but I will keep practising hard for the future.”
Aia Mohamed and Al Hamda, who was defeated in the air rifle shooting event, are not the only women competing for Qatar at the Olympics.
Sprinter Noor Al-Malki and swimmer Nada Arakji will also represent the small but wealthy Gulf nation.
The Saudi Arabian Olympic Committee named two women, judo competitor Wodjan Shaherkhani and runner Sarah Attar, to represent their nation in London.
But Shaherkhani’s place in the tournament is in danger after she was told she cannot wear the Islamic hijab headscarf when she fights as it contravenes competition rules.