JEDDAH – 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”.
On the other hand, some people claim that football mania in Saudi Arabia has negatively affected other sports.
“We know nothing, but football,” Ibrahim Abdullah, a private sector employee said.
He added that his children have never talked about any sport except football.
“There should be a committee to discuss this failure and come up with fruitful suggestions that can help us correct ourselves,” Abdullah added.
Hussein Al-Sab’a and Mohammed Salman Al-Khuwalaidi are two of the most known stars in athletics.
After many Saudi short and middle distance runners like Hadi Sou’an, who achived the silver medal in 2000 Athens Games retired, Mohammed Al-Salehi, Mikhlid Al-Otaibi, Mohammed Shaween, Ali Al-Amri, Yahiya Habeeb, Hamdan Al-Bishi, Isma’il Al-Sibiyani and Yousof Masrahi failed to get any medal in Bejing.
Abdulrazzaq Mo’az, a Saudi athlete who took part in Munich Games said that preparation of athletes is a major part in achieving good results.
“We should concentrate on these sports in schools,” he said.
He added that football is the main concern of the majority of Saudi people.
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. However, Ramzi Al-Dahami succeeded to qualify to the final round and he was selected among 30 best riders in the world.
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.
“This should not be overlooked if we want something like that not to happen again,” Hasan Abdul Qader, a columnist said.
Vice president of the Saudi weightlifting federation, Mohammed Bin Mushait said, “There should have been an efficient administrator with Dohaili who missed his chance and ended the Saudi hopes in Bejing.”
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.