A record 30 Bahraini athletes have so far been given the go-ahead for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games at Rio de Janeiro, in Brazil.
The kingdom will be present at the Olympics in four disciplines, where 26 have qualified for the athletics events, two in swimming, and one each in shooting and wrestling.
Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa, representative of His Majesty the King for Charity Work and Youth Affairs, Supreme Council for Youth and Sports Chairman, and Bahrain Olympic Committee President, will be heading Bahrain’s delegation to the Olympics.
This was announced in a Press Conference held at the committee premises, where BOC general secretary Abdulrahman Askar chef de mission Yousif Abdulqader revealed the updated delegation of athletes for this summer Olympics.
Bahrain’s line-up features the cream of its fast and long-distance runners who succeeded to mark the qualifying times for them to secure their spots at the upcoming major international multi-sport event.
There will be 12 men and 14 women to compete at the athletics events at the Olympics. Leading Bahrain’s dream is Oluwakemi Adekoya, who won the women’s 400m gold medal at this year’s IAAF World Indoor Championship in Portland, USA.
The nation will also pin hopes on the likes of rising athlete Salwa Naser, winner of the 2016 Asian Indoor Championship in Doha. She will be joined by other prominent athletes like Benson Seurei, Abbas Abubaker and Ruth Jebet.
Adam Batirov, winner of this year’s Asian Wrestling Championship in Thailand, will also be spearheading Bahrain for the first time at the Olympics.
The 31-year-old veteran wrestler hopes to continue his impressive run, but this time on a higher level this summer when he faces some of the world’s best in the under-70kg weight category.
Bahrain have been awarded three wild cards, which were given to three of its young talents – Mahmood Haji (Shooting), Al Zain Tareq and Farhan Saleh (Swimming).
"We started our qualifying programme back in august 2015," said Bahrain delegation chef de mission Yousef Abdulqader.
"With the qualifying deadline is July 14, we can still increase the number of our eligible athletes and we are full of hope for them to live to our aspirations," added Abdulqader.
On his part, BOC general secretary expressed pride for having this new record of athletes participating for the first time at this level, which promises to bring Bahrain’s biggest-ever delegation to the Olympics.
Askar also shared the same confidence in Bahrain improving on their record at this edition of the Olympics after Maryam Jamal had won the women’s 1,500m silver at the 2012 Olympics, which was Bahrain’s only medal in London.
"This is a great opportunity for us to promote Bahrain culture and civilization while were are in the other part of the world. We really look forward to be at the Olympics and raise the Bahrain flag high at the Olympic village in Rio de Janeiro," said Askar.
The BOC general secretary, along with other representatives of the committee, will fly to Doha later this month to present the final list of Bahrain’s official delegation to Rio.
Bahrain Athletes Delegation:
Men: Andrew Fisher (100m); Kemarley Brown (100m); Abbas Abu Baker (400m); Abraham Rotich (800m); Al Siddique Mikho (1,500m); Benson Seuri (1,500m); John Koech (3,000m steeplechase); Albert Rob (5,000m); Oiki Eilo (5,000m); Al Hasan Al Abbasi (10,000m); Shumi Dechasa (Marathon); Alemu Bekele (Marathon).
Women: Salwa Eid (200m); Kemi Adekoya (400m hurdles); Ruth Jebet (3,000m steeplechase); Mimi Belete (1,500m); Tigist Belay (1,500m); Tajest Mikonin (3,000m steeplechase); Mimi Belete (5,000m); Rose Chelimo (Marathon); Eunice Kirwa (Marathon); Shitaye Habregeioges (Marathon); Eunice Chumba (Marathon); Ester Tesfai (Marathon); Merima Mohammed (Marathon); Lishan Gemgchu (Marathon).
Men: Farhan Saleh. Women: Al Zain Tareq
Men: Adam Batirov
Men: Mahmood Haj
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