Bahrain celebrates its Rio 2016 achievers

Published August 29th, 2016 - 06:25 GMT
Ruth Jebet is felicitated after she arrives in Bahrain following her achievements in Rio and Paris (Photo: BNA)
Ruth Jebet is felicitated after she arrives in Bahrain following her achievements in Rio and Paris (Photo: BNA)

Bahrain has celebrated its strongest show in the Olympic Games (Rio2016) where it won its first gold medal as well as a silver medal, a feat that placed it at the top of the Arab countries.

“Bahrain’s athletes have demonstrated a high level of professional sportsmanship, achieving global success with record-breaking accomplishments which had honoured and elevated the Kingdom’s standing on the international stage,” Crown Prince Salman Bin Hamad Al Khalifa said as he received the sport officials and athletes who participated at the (Rio 2016) Olympics.

Prince Salman hailed the remarkable and substantive improvement to Bahrain’s sports sector over the past few years, attributing the progress to “the tremendous support” provided by King Hamad Bin Eisa Al Khalifa.

In the 2012 Olympics in London, Bahrain won its first ever Olympic medal, by middle-distance runner Maryam Jamal in the women’s 1500 metres.

In 2016, Bahrain led the Arab countries thanks to its gold and silver medals. Only nine of the 22 Arab countries spread across the Middle East and North Africa won medals in Rio.

Congratulating the Bahrain Team on the strong performance in Rio, the Crown Prince said that Bahrain has always taken great pride in the accomplishments of its athletes in local and international sporting events.

Prince Salman heaped praise on long distance runner Ruth Jebet for earning a gold medal at the Rio 2016 Olympics in the women’s 3000m steeplechase event, and for breaking the women’s 3000m steeplechase world record at the Diamond League meet this week in Paris, highlighting that her outstanding achievements were a first for ‎the Kingdom in international endurance running competitions.

Bahrain’s silver medal at Rio was won by Eunice Kirwa in the marathon after she clocked two hours, 24 minutes and 13 seconds, nine seconds behind gold medal winner Jemima Sumgong.

Prince Salman lauded the role and efforts of Shaikh Nasser Bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Chairman of the Supreme Council for Youth and Sports and President of Bahrain Olympic Committee, and Shaikh Khaled Bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the First Deputy President of the Supreme Council for Youth & Sport, President of Bahrain Athletics Association, in improving Bahrain’s sports and recreational sector.

He said the support provided by the Kingdom had yielded “astonishing results and was evident in the athletes’ efforts of strength, stamina and perseverance,” adding that Bahrain was ready to invest in and support all those who have the skills, ability and potential to compete, “as the Kingdom takes pride in its talented citizens.”

A highly cheerful Jebet who was feted at the airport after breaking the world record in Paris on Saturday expressed pride with her achievements.

“I would like to thank everyone in Bahrain for the warm welcome and support, especially the people at Bahrain Olympic Committee and Bahrain Athletics Association,” she said.

“I could have broken the Olympic record at the Olympics but I wasn’t really concentrating on that. I wanted to bring home the gold medal so I did my best without looking at the time. I consider my performance in the Paris Diamond League an improvement to my Olympic race. I am not sure if I can break the world record one more time, but I will keep trying,” she said, quoted by local media.

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