Thursday, August 11, 2016

Rio 2016 Day 5 Summary: An epic day for Arabs at the Olympics

* August 10, 2016 will go down in history as the day Egypt won two Olympic medals in the span of four hours. Few things have warmed my heart more than watching 18-year-old weightlifter Sara Ahmed lift some inconceivable weights to take bronze in the 69kg category in Rio on Wednesday. Apparently they wouldn't postpone her school finals for her, nor allow her to take them in Brazil, so she decided to skip them and it proved to be a wise decision.

Sara is the second-ever Egyptian Olympic medallist, and the first to receive one on the Olympic podium after weightlifter Abeer Abdelrahman received her silver belatedly because the IOC stripped all three medallists from London 2012 last month.

A few hours later, Mohamed Ihab took bronze in the 77kg category. This was Egypt's first men's weightlifting Olympic medal since 1948.
* After getting double trap bronze in Sydney, and trap bronze in London, Kuwait's Fehaid Al Deehani is finally an Olympic gold medallist as he triumphed in the double trap. Al Deehani is Kuwait's only Olympic medallist. He made his Games debut in Barcelona 1992 and has three medals from six appearances. The sad part was that he couldn't lift the Kuwaiti flag nor listen to the Kuwait national anthem because he was competing as an independent athlete under the Olympic flag. Why? Kuwait is suspended by the IOC for government interference in sport.
Al Deehani didn't even know he was going to be able to compete in Rio because of all the drama with the IOC and he said his preparation was sub-par. He was also due to compete in the Trap earlier in the week but someone messed up and didn't sign him up. After all that, even though there is a bittersweet undertone to the whole thing, the 49-year-old can go home with a gold medal. What a legend!

* Check out Nijat Rahimov's celebration after stealing the gold from China's Lu Xiaojun with a world record lift. Best. Celebration. Ever!
* It was an epic night for Arab women as Tunisia's Ines Boubakri won foil fencing bronze. Anyone who has watched her all day will have been taken by her true grit.

* Fabian Cancellara rolled back the years to claim a second Olympic time trial gold, with Dutchman Tom Dumoulin taking silver and Tour de France champion Chris Froome settling for bronze.

* Chris Mears and Jack Laugher won a first-ever diving gold for Britain as they showed there's more to British diving than Tom Daley, taking gold in the 3m springboard synchro.

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