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Monday, August 25, 2008

Saudis whining over poor Olympic showing

It seems that one cannot just buy Olympic medals by throwing millions at sports federations. It would also help if someone in the Saudi delegation had a calendar:
A state of anger dominated Saudis over the poor results of their representatives in Beijing Games.

Some claim that officials of the five federations should give reasons for the poor show of their representatives, especially with the financial support for these federations.

“Why did they go,” Ibrahim Al-Ghamdi, a teacher, asked the Saudi Gazette. “Hasn’t the government spent millions and millions of riyals on these players to keep Saudi Arabia in the front line of international sport? We need to be transparent and see where the problem lies,” he added.

Ghamdi suggested that if we continue to perform like this “We’d better refrain from participating”.

Sultan Al-Dawoodi and Sultan Al-Hibshi who participated in shot put failed to put up a good performance.

Saudi Arabia is one of the countries that pay great attention to equestrian, since it is the sport of ancestors. Arabs have been known for their love if this sport.

In Beijing, Saudi riders too disappointed their supporters. Prince Abdullah Bin Mot’ib Bin Abdullah, Fasial Al-Sha’alan, Ramzi Al-Dahami, Kamal Ba-Hamdan and Adnan Al-Baitouni are globally known for their achievements. Saudi fans expected that this team could win a silver medal or at least a bronze.

None of the Saudi representatives in Beijing would get much attention than Ali Al-Dohaili, a weightlifter who claimed that he was misinformed about the day of his participation. According to him, the team’s administrator had informed him that the event would be on Tuesday.

I was surprised to know that it was on Monday,” he told the Arabic daily Al-Riyadiah.

Saudi sport columnists and writers insisted that such incident ought to be investigated officially to see who was responsible for depriving the young man from representing the country.

The only Saudi swimmer in the competition, Badr Al-Muhanna, also failed to at least prove himself as a professional swimmer.

Badr Al-Mutair, the sole Saudi representative in shooting was no luckier than his friends.
I especially like the sentiment that if Saudi Arabia is not going to win medals, why send any representatives at all?

By the way, Saudi Arabia excludes women from their Olympics team, which didn't stop the Washington Post from pretending that their allowing a woman to attend the Olympics as a member of the staff for the first time this year was a huge breakthrough. (The WaPo did follow up with an editorial calling to ban Saudi Arabia from the Olympics in 2012 if it continues to ban women athletes, based on an earlier op-ed by an Egyptian woman.)