14 Bahrainis to vie for Olympics gold
Manama, July 4, 2012
A total of Bahrainis will be going for gold in a variety of athletics, swimming and shooting events when they compete against the world's best at the London Olympics later this month.
Eight women and six men will compete during the 17-day event, which starts on July 27.
The medal hopefuls include Mahboob Hassan, Adam Ismail, Shawqi Jamal, Haleem Jabry, Bilal Ali, Mariam Jamal, Mimi Salim, Shama Mubarak, Taj Baba, Jamila Shami and Maitha Lahdan, who are part of Bahrain's athletics team.
The country's youngest competitor, 16-year-old Khalid Baba, will compete in swimming events, while Sara Al Flaij and Ezza Al Qasemi will take part in shooting contests.
"Our athletes will compete against 205 countries in the 2012 London Olympics this summer," said Bahrain Olympic Committee media manager Mohammed Lori.
"We are proud of having eight ladies participating in the delegation because it reflects how strong female sport in Bahrain is. It also shows how our women are involved in everything and how they have a great presence in the sports field."
Many of Bahrain's athletes are taking part in overseas training camps as part of their final preparations for the event.
"Most of our athletes are outside the country in training camps to make sure they receive the proper preparation," said Lori.
"Each one of them is designated to a different country that fits their own field. The athletics team is currently in Switzerland, Azza Al Qassimi is in Germany, Khalid Baba is in Jordan while Sara is preparing to fly soon as well.
"We are having high hopes on the athletics team because they are really experienced and they have proven an outstanding performance before. Also, they have competed in international games before which makes us look forward to having more medals.
"Other participants will have this golden opportunity to prove themselves, they will be competing with athletes from different countries around the world in a very prestigious championship."
Al Qassimi, who will be competing in her first Olympics, has been selected to be Bahrain's flag bearer during the opening ceremony.
Bahrain has never won an Olympic medal.
Long distance runner Rashid Ramzi won the 1,500 metres race at the Beijing Games in 2008, but was later stripped of the gold after failing a drug test. – TradeArabia News Service