Arab Games Medals not Worth their Weight in Gold, According to Contestants
Noof Omar of Yemen attempts the women's 53 kg! (Image courtesy of "newsobserver.com")
The medals of the weightlifting competitions were a cause of great dispute and protest in the Arab Games in Doha.
Most of the participating countries protested the decision of the organising committee to award one medal in the competitions for the total only while ignoring awarding two more medals in each competition to the Snatch and Clean and Jerk as applicable under the norms of World Weightlifting Federation.
The winners of the competitions on Wednesday, including Ayesha Al Bloushi, the UAE lady weightlifter who won the silver medal of the 69kg category, were first awarded two medals, according to the official website of the Games as that has appeared in the medals table.
It was later learnt that the two medals were awarded for their performance in the Snatch and Clean and Jerk and the officials of the teams began complaining why there are no medals for the total of the two categories. Then one medal was cancelled and each was awarded only one medal for the total performance.
Jamal Aqoun, of Algeria, said: "We fail to understand why the organisers refused to award medals for the Snatch and Clean and Jerk as happens in the World Championships of weightlifting and as was the case in all the former Arab Games." Algeria and most of the participating teams have protested against this decision.
Meanwhile, Shaikh Saoud Bin Abdul Rahman Al Thani, Chairman of the Games Organising Committee, said: "All the teams are well aware of the regulations and the system of the medals awarding from the technical meeting they attended before the start of the competition. Why are they protesting now? The same system applied in the Olympic Games."
There was some bad news from the UAE camp as Ayesha Al Bloushi, the only woman from the Gulf region to win a medal in weightlifting, was admitted late on Wednesday night to Hamad Hospital in Doha complaining from knee and back pains from the incident when the weight fell on her knee during competition.
By Yasir Abbasher, Senior Reporter
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