Rio 2016: Princess Haya, Sheikh Ahmed bin Hasher – Gulf royals who have competed in the Olympics

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Ahead of the 2016 Rio Olympics, which is slated to feature at least two athletes from royal families in the region, we break down a history of Gulf royals to participate in the Games.

Sheikh Saeed bin Maktoum, UAE

Shooting – 2016, 2012, 2008, 2004, 2000

The son of Sheikh Maktoum bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Ruler of Dubai from 1990-2006, is at 39 headed to his fifth Olympic Games in Rio. The skeet shooting marksman has won several international titles in his career, and finished tied-ninth at the 2000 Sydney Games and 13th at London 2012. He has been the UAE flag-bearer at three Olympics – London, Athens and Sydney.

Sheikh Ali bin Khalid Al Thani, Qatar

Equestrian – 2016

The 33-year-old showrider has competed at the Asian Games, Pan-Arab Games, World Championships and FEI World Cup previously. The Rio Games will be his first Olympics.

Sheikh Juma bin Dalmook Al Maktoum, UAE

Shooting – 2012

The two-time Asian Games medallist (double trap silver Guangzhou 2010, double trap bronze Incheon 2014) finished 13th in London, four points off qualifying for the final.

Prince Abdullah bin Mutaib Al Saud, Saudi Arabia

Equestrian – 2012 (bronze), 2008

Prince Abdullah, 31, is a two-time Olympian, having competed at London 2012 and Beijing 2008. In London he won a bronze medal as part of the Saudi Arabian mixed jumping team, the Kingdom’s third medal as a nation at the Olympics.

Sheikha Maitha bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE

Taekwondo – 2008

The Ruler of Dubai’s daughter carried the UAE flag into the opening ceremony in Beijing, where she competed in taekwondo. In the 67kg classification she was seeded 14th and fell to eventual gold medallist Hwang Kyung-seon of South Korea. She also competed in the repechage round, losing to Sandra Saric of Croatia.

Prince Faisal Al Shalan, Saudi Arabia

Equestrian – 2008

The accomplished 29-year-old show jumper, who has won medals at the Asian Games, Pan-Arab Games and Islamic Solidarity Games, competed at the 2008 Beijing Games.

Sheikh Ahmed bin Hasher, UAE

Shooting – 2008, 2004 (gold), 2000

The winner of the Emirates’ lone medal at an Olympics, a gold in the double trap at the 2004 Games. Sheikh Ahmed went to Athens for his second Games at age 40 in 2004, and competed in both the trap and double trap. He reached the final round in the former before finishing fourth, a point away from a bronze medal. He blew away the competition in the latter, however, with 189 points in the final that were 10 better than second-placed Rajyavardhan Rathore of India and set an Olympic record (beaten four years later in Beijing). In China he returned for a third Games and finished seventh in double trap.

Sheikha Latifa bint Ahmed, UAE

Equestrian – 2008

One of three members of the Al Maktoum family at the Beijing Games, she went to Hong Kong, where the equestrian events were held, and narrowly missed out on reaching the third qualifying stage.

Princess Haya, Jordan

Equestrian – 2000

Though not a native of a Gulf country, Princess Haya did marry into the UAE Royal family in 2004 when she wed Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Ruler of Dubai and Vice President of the UAE. She competed in the mixed jumping individual event in Sydney and carried her nation’s flag at the opening ceremony.