Qatar's Mutaz Barshim leapt into the spotlight, winning a silver medal at the Rio Olympics this year. Now the high-jump champion has been named Athlete of the Year by Esquire Middle East magazine. 

He made history as the first Qatari to win an Olympics silver medal. 

Barshim's personal best, a 2.43 jump, is the second highest jump in history, coming after Cuba's Javier Sotomayor in 1993.

“Awards are like a fuel to me. The more I win the more it drives me towards achieving higher," Barshim said.  

"I’ve been though a lot and getting this far has not been easy, but these encounters and events have definitely made me who I am today." 

The 25-year-old athlete is the first Qatari athlete to be awarded Athlete of the Year.

Barshim is now shooting for gold in Tokyo 2020. 

Barshim was one of the two Qataris to win a bronze medal from the 2012 London Olympic Games (where he jumped 2.29 meters). It was the first time Barshim took part in the Olympics.

He has won several regional and international medals, including four Asian Indoor Championship gold medals, a 2014 IAAF World Indoor Championship gold, 2013 IAAF World Championship silver and a 2014 IAAF Continental Cup bronze.

"Victory is the result of hard work, dedication and patience. There are no shortcuts," Barshim said.