LONDON: Two Egyptian wrestlers saw their dream of competing at the London Olympics evaporate without stepping onto the mat after forfeiting their opening contests in a mix-up over times. Abdou Omar Abdou Ahmed and Saleh Emara lost their first-round matches in the 66 and 96kg classes respectively. The programme started at 8.30am local time, in a bid to get everything completed well before the start of the closing ceremony, while the previous seven days of Olympic wrestling at London’s Excel Arena had commenced at 1pm. A spokesman for the Egyptian Olympic team said, “They thought they were wrestling at 1pm like normal, but because of the closing ceremony they changed the timing to 8.30am and the team didn’t know about it. It was in the booklet but they didn’t see it, and because of that they were a little bit late.”
Published in The Express Tribune, August 13th, 2012.