A judo champion from east Jerusalem, Maher Abu Rmeileh has become the first Palestinian to qualify on points for the Olympics, winning entry to the London Games, said the Palestinian Olympic Committee yesterday. “Abu Rmeileh qualified on points and not by invitation like the others,” said Hanial Halabi, who will head the Palestinian squad. “He deserved to qualify.
For the first time in the history of Palestinian sport, an athlete got enough points to qualify for the Olympics.” Until now, Palestinian athletes have participated in the Olympics by virtue of honourary invitations from the Olympic Committee which are extended to countries which fail to reach qualifying standards.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 22nd, 2012.
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