Middle East – Sports & Athletes

Road to London 2012!


Did you know- Toward the end of the 1940s, the men’s football team of Afghanistan came in 18th place in the Summer Olympic Games in London, United Kingdom. At the XIV Summer Games, Afghanistan –a country with serious domestic problems– lost 6-0 to Luxembourg. For the first time, soccer players from Afghanistan took part in an Olympic Tournament.


Did you know- At the 1982 Asian Games in New Delhi (India), the men’s football final was won by Iraq, followed by Kuwait (runner-up). Meanwhile, the bronze medal was shared by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and Saudi Arabia.


Did you know- At the 3rd West Asian Games in December 2005, the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan took eighth place, ahead of Bahrain, Iraq, and Yemen, in team standings, with 25 medals (3 gold, 11 silver, and 11 bronze).


Did you know- Kuwait’s shooter Fehaid Al Deehani placed third in double trap in the Summer Olympics in Sydney in 2000, behind Richard Faulds (United Kingdom) and Russell Mark (Australia).


Did you know- An eight-member team from Lebanon participated in the Summer Olympics in London, United Kingdom, in 1948. The Arab nation competed in three sports: boxing (1), shooting (2), and wrestling (5). At that time, Lebanon’s Olympic Committee also sent a team of two athletes -skiers- to the Winter Olympics in Saint Moritz, Switzerland.


Did you know- Weightlifter Said S. Asaad,a former Bulgarian national, won the bronze medal -the second Olympic medal in the history of Qatari sport– in the men’s 105-kilogram category at the 2000 Olympic Games in the Australian city of Sydney; the country’s first (and only) Olympic medal of the 2000 Games. Before Asaad became a Qatari citizen, he had competed for Bulgaria in many international events.


Did you know- Despite its anti-American policy, Syria sent a team of seven athletes to Los Angeles (California, US), home to the XXIII Olympic Games. This Arab nation competed in aquatics ( 1), boxing (1), shooting (1), weightlifting (1), and wrestling (3). At the 1984 Los Angeles Games, Syria won its first Olympic medal (a silver in heavyweight freestyle wrestling).


Did you know- The United Arab Emirates had a new idol to cheer in August 2004 when Sheikh Ahmed Bin Hasher Al Maktoum won the gold medal in the men’s double trap shooting event in the Olympic Games in Greece, equalling the Olympic record of 189 points, which was established by Australia’s shooter Russell Mark at the 26th Olympiad in the United States in the mid-1990s.