Tokyo: Swimmer Lara Dashti became the first Kuwaiti athlete to fly the flag of her country at the Olympic opening ceremony as she competed in the event alongside fellow shooter Talal Al-Rashidi at the Tokyo 2020 Games on Friday. The illustrious sporting event saw two competitors carry their country’s flag in unison for the first time, breaking a decades-old tradition of requiring one flag bearer. Due to COVID-19 measures, spectators were barred from attending the event, limiting attendance to only state officials, including Japanese Emperor Naruhito and International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach.
Speaking about the stage, the Kuwait Olympic Committee quoted Dashti as saying that she was “overwhelmed with happiness” and her feelings were “indescribable”, as she reached “the peak of joy and pleasure in a moment that will remain engraved in memory.” . Dashti spoke for herself and on behalf of her female counterparts, saying that the contestants feel a sense of responsibility and urgency during the Games, as they hope to do their best.
For his part, Al-Rashidi described the company as “historic,” adding that “every Kuwaiti has the right to be proud of his country and his sense of belonging.” The trap thrower, the 2018 world champion, two-time Asian Games gold medalist and 2012 Olympic contender, was “excited”, saying he was eager to achieve something for his country. The Kuwaitis have so far competed in 12 Olympic Games, winning two bronze medals for the Gulf state and one gold medal under the Olympic flag.
Fahaid Al-Daihani won all three medals – two bronze medals in men’s double trap shooting at the 2000 Sydney Olympics and trap at the 2012 London Olympics, as well as a gold medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics, thus becoming the first independent athlete to achieve this feat. The head of the Kuwait Olympic Committee, Sheikh Fahd Nasser Al-Sabah, who attended the ceremony, described the organization as “exceptional.”
The group of Kuwaiti athletes competing in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics said yesterday that they are fully “ready” to represent their country as the main event overwhelmed by the COVID epidemic opened in a city in a state of emergency due to the resurgence of new cases.
Skeet shooter Abdullah Al-Rashidi said in his seventh appearance at the Olympics that his participation this year was due to chance as he was chosen to replace fellow athlete Saud Al Kindi, who retired from the event for personal reasons, as he saw the incident as a beacon of hope that would allow him to score More achievements in his Olympic career.
Al-Rashidi, who won a bronze medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics, has vowed to do everything in her power to propel her country to the fore in an event of this magnitude, while also making it to another moment. Building on what has been a prolific Olympic saga.
In his first appearance at the Olympics, Mansour Al-Rashidi, another Kuwaiti skateboarder, said that “concentration” is the key to excel in a precise sport such as shooting, adding that his recent participation in similar events, including an Arab competition in Egypt, had prepared him okay to face tomorrow. Al-Rashidi expected “a stiff competition” before the start of the competition, and said that he is keen to delight the Kuwaiti fans and give them reasons to celebrate, stressing that he is ready to prove his strength with some of the best shooters in the World Olympics.
Swimmers Lara Dashti and Abbas Qalli said they are also ready for their respective competitions on July 29-30. Kuwait Olympic Committee member Sheikh Jaber Al-Sabah said Kuwaiti athletes were “taken well” before the Games without spectators in an effort to encourage them to achieve outstanding performance in their careers. – kona
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