Dominant Fehaid Al Deehani, Egypt and Tunisia women’s triumphs: Best of Olympics Day 5
The National’s sports team is helping you keep up to date with what is happening in Rio while most of us in the UAE were sleeping. Here is today’s Daily 5.
1 Defiant Al Deehani wins gold
Officially, the gold medal will belong to the “Independent Olympic Athletes” team. But in Fehaid Al Deehani’s heart, it’s every bit Kuwait’s.
Kuwait has been banned from officially competing at the Olympics (sanctioned for “government interference in sport”), but Kuwaiti athletes are still in Rio competing under the Olympic flag. It was a flag Al Deehani refused to carry at the opening ceremony.
“I am a military man and I will only carry the Kuwait flag,” he said then. “I cannot carry the IOC flag.”
He was the natural choice for the unofficial Kuwaiti delegation, as a legendary shooting champion in the country. Two months shy of his 50th birthday, he recorded his greatest achievement.
Confident and quick in his shot, Al Deehani stormed through the semi-final round and soundly beat Italy’s Marco Innocenti in the gold-medal match.
It was a dominant display, as far as they go in shooting. It was also bittersweet, though, without his nation’s flag on hand.
“I can’t describe my feeling on the podium,” he told Reuters.
“I am winning the gold medal, the biggest achievement of the Games, without raising my country’s flag. It really hurts me, I can hardly stop my crying.”
2 UAE’s judo moment
Reaction continued around the Emirates on Wednesday after judoka Sergiu Toma won the UAE’s second-ever medal at an Olympic Games.
Toma had the previous night won bronze in judo’s 81kg weight class, defeating Italian Matteo Marconcini authoritatively. Naser Al Tamimi, the general secretary of the UAE Wrestling, Judo and Kick Boxing Federation told John McAuley he and the newly-minted medallist “have been talking about this moment for three and a half years”.
“He wanted a special programme for this Olympics, to take a medal for the UAE so he could give back a little in return for what it had given him, and when he puts his mind to something he always makes it happen.”
Osman Samiuddin writes the result will be a boon to the sport in the UAE: “To a relatively smaller sporting country like the UAE, these individual successes have the potential to have as great an impact on that sport as Michael Phelps might on young swimmers in the US.
“A return of a bronze for the funding that goes into judo will suddenly mean that more funding will come into the sport, that it can and should be taken to more schools. Above all, it means, in Toma, there is a role model to latch on to, to rally around and aspire to.”
And UAE shooter Khaled Al Kaabi, meanwhile, acquitted himself well in the double trap shooting event, coming up just one point short of a score that would have let him compete in a shoot-out to reach the semi-finals, where Kuwait’s Al Deehani won gold.
3 Other highlights from Day 5
• Young Brazilian football star Gabriel Barbosa showed why they call him “Gabigol” and the nervy hosts brushed aside successive draws for an exuberant 4-0 win over Denmark to ensure their place in the football quarter-finals.
• Japan’s gymnastics superstar Kohei Uchimura claimed a third Olympic gold in the individual all-around competition, Tunisia’s Ines Boubakri made history as the first women’s fencing medallist from Africa and Great Britain’s diving duo of Jack Laugher and Chris Mears pulled off a stunner in the synchronised 3m springboard event. Read the full round-up.
• Sprint legend Fabian Cancellara won gold in the men’s cycling time trial, a brilliant cap to a glittering career for the retiring 35-year-old Swiss. American Kristin Armstrong, meanwhile, at 43 won her third consecutive Olympic time trial gold, an unprecedented achievement.
• The United States leads in the medal count with 32 (11 gold), followed by China with 23 (10 gold) and Japan with 18 (six gold). Australia with five golds (12 overall) and Hungary with four golds (seven overall) round out the leaders. Russia, with 15 medals total and Great Britain, with 12, have also found great success. We’re keeping track of all the gold medal winners.
4 Tweet of the day
Egypt’s Sara Ahmed, just 18 years old, put her nation on the medal table on Wednesday with her bronze in the women’s 69kg weightlifting competition. Her compatriot Mohamed Ihab later joined her with another bronze, in the men’s 77kg division.
5 Video of the day
Golf begins on Thursday. If we’re lucky, these little critters will leave their mark on the event in some hilarious way:
Published: August 11, 2016 04:00 AM