Postponing the Olympics confuses the Lebanese accounts


Four years ago, Lebanon participated in the Brazilian Rio de Janeiro Olympics in 2016, through nine athletes and athletes in seven games: Ray Basil (shooting), Nassif Elias (Judo under 81 kg), Mariana Sehakian (table tennis), Richard Morgan (Kanai), Anthony Berber and Gabriela Douaihy (swimming), Mona Shouaito (fencing), Sherine Njeim (Athletics – Marathon) and Ahmed Hazer (Athletics – 110 meters hurdles).Four years later, the sports family was preparing for a new entry this time in the Japanese capital, Tokyo. But the global crisis of the Coruna virus postponed the Olympics for a whole year, until July 2021.
Until just a few months before the 2020 Olympics, the “Olympic image” in Lebanon indicated that the Lebanese presence in Tokyo would be confined to four games almost certainly, which are archery, judo, swimming and athletics, with the possibility of increasing the number in the event of surprises in the field of Taekwondo And fencing.
So far, Ray Basil and Nassif Elias are the only targets whose participation in the Olympics has been confirmed. Ray Basil finally qualified for the Olympic Trap Shooting Competition after winning the Asian Championship Gold Medal in the Qatari capital, Doha. It is not the first participation of Basil, as she was previously present at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro and London 2012 Olympics. The difference this time is that Basil’s participation came through direct qualification and not with two invitation cards as happened in Rio de Janeiro and London. As for Nassif Elias, his qualification to the Olympics is almost settled, but not final. He is still qualified, but in judo there are many tournaments that can qualify for other players in the event that Ilyas miss the posts and achieve good results.
The Lebanese champion residing in Brazil continues his preparations according to a program in coordination with the Lebanese Judo Federation, which seeks to involve Nassif in a number of championships according to the available capabilities.
As for swimming and athletics, their Lebanese participation is often through invitation cards. The International Olympic Committee, and out of its keenness that all countries be present in this international event, invite athletes and athletes from different countries, and chose athletics and athletics, as they include a large number of groups.
Those involved in the Olympics at all levels, both administratively and technically, were working according to a calendar ending in the summer of 2020 with the establishment of the Olympics. But after the Corona crisis and the postponement of the Olympics, the cards were mixed again. The postponement has positive and negative repercussions for Lebanese athletes and athletes.
As for Ray Basil’s goal, “the delay can be considered in the interest of men and women. The exercises are currently suspended, and they are limited to home exercises, and this does not benefit the men and women, “Basil said in connection with the” news. ” The Lebanese goal adds that the problem lies in the lack of a horizon for the crisis, “and this negatively affects the athletes’ preparations, as it is difficult for the exercises to be stopped two months before the Olympics.”

Swimming and athletics are usually present on invitation cards

As for the Asian champion, there are other positive aspects of the delay related to the sponsors and the Ministry of Youth and Sports and the ability to secure financial support for male and female players, which is essential for participation in this size.
The picture is not clear to Archer Basil in relation to the extra year that everyone got before the Olympics. “The topic depends on the length of the home stone. There are attempts to obtain permission from the District Commissioner of Keserwan, Joseph Mansour, to allow her to hold special training sessions in the Safra club to which I belong, of course, without the presence of people with me. It was promised good. ”
In Judo, the Confederation President François Saade cannot answer a question about whether the delay was in favor of his player or not. “Nassif is training in Brazil, but our problem is that we are no longer able to send him in external camps that are essential in light of the stopping of the sports movement in the whole world,” Saadeh told Al-Akhbar.

Mixing leaves in swimming
In terms of swimming, even before the Tokyo Olympics were postponed, the data indicated that the Lebanese participation, which is often for two swimmers with an invitation card, will be restricted to four swimmers and swimmers who are ranked first Munther Kabbara, and his runner-up, Adib Khalil, who are from El Mon LaSal Club. On the women’s level, the top seed was Marie Khoury, from Safra Marine Club, and her runner-up, Gabriela Douaihy, from the higher-rise Aqua Marina Club. Perhaps the main reason behind restricting participation in these four, along with the technical aspect and results, is that they participated in the World Swimming Championships 2019 in South Korea. For the International Swimming Federation, participation in the World Championship is a prerequisite for an athlete or athlete to be entitled to obtain one of the two invitation cards.
But after the Olympics is postponed, the cards may be mixed again in light of the possibility that other swimmers and swimmers will emerge through their participation in qualifying tournaments, in the event that the condition to participate in the 2019 World Championship is no longer essential.
Among the swimmers and swimmers nominated for the competition are Leticia Hamdoun, from Al-Najah Club, Gabriela Helehel (Al-Mutailib), Rami Ghaziri (Al-Jazeera), Anthony Berber (Moon LaSalle). The Secretary of the Lebanese Swimming Federation, Farid Abi Raad, indicates in connection with Al-Akhbar that matters are still not settled in his union about whether participation in the Olympics in the field of swimming is through qualification only or through qualification or invitation card.
For Raad, the federation’s decision may be to restrict participation by qualifying only with the aim of motivating all swimmers and swimmers to work to achieve qualifying results. “If the decision to participate in an invitation card, then the condition for participation in the 2019 World Championship becomes essential, confining the names to the four: Kabbara, Khalil, Khoury and Al-Duwaihi. This will be frustrating for the rest of the swimmers and swimmers. The decision to restrict participation through qualification will motivate everyone. This is what happened at the 2018 Youth Olympic Games in Argentina. The federation decided to restrict participation to qualification, and indeed three swimmers and swimmers were qualified at the time, Rami Ghaziri, Munther Kabbara and Hiba Al-Duwaihi, but the international federation returned and chose Ghaziri only because there was a vacant place in the races of the category in which he participated, ”says the Secretary-General of the Swimming Federation.
On the implications of the delay and its results, whether positive or negative, Abu Raad considers that it is “not in the interest of our swimmers that it will kill their psyche and may cause problems.” Currently, the first class is large, and he is currently entitled to receive the invitation card, but this additional year may witness a change in classification, and Rami Ghaziri may become a first class, for example. Here, we will face the problem of who participates in the event that the condition for participation in the 2019 World Cup does not exist. Even before the postponement, Kabara was the one who participated in the Olympics, and in the additional year, it could be that my abundance is the one who has the right to participate, as he is a first class. Who is involved in this situation? ”

Ray Basil is the first to qualify and Nasif Elias is very close

But there is no doubt that there are positives to postpone for Abu Raad, and this mainly relates to having swimmers and swimmers getting an additional period of exercise.
The second Lebanese Olympic guest, i.e. athletics, also has officials participating in their participation accounts. Lebanon, like many other countries, is far from participating by qualification due to the technical difference with the developed countries. Even before the Olympics were postponed, US-based runner Sherine Njeim was most qualified to qualify and go to Tokyo by qualifying. She did it in 2016 and is trying to repeat the achievement. As for the invitation card, the game association may decide to give it to the runner Noureddine Hadid, as the president of the association Roland Saadeh tells Al-Akhbar. “Union options are very few. The invitation card is restricted to the 100 and 200 meters. This makes Iron Runner the favorite to get the invitation card given to Lebanon. ”
As for His Excellency, “the postponement does not affect neither negatively nor positively. The potential is modest and the chances are weak, and thus Lebanon’s participation is symbolic in a game that needs a lot of potential to achieve Olympic results in it. ”

The Taekwondo Federation is trying
In Taekwondo, despite the difficult task, the head of the Lebanese Federation for the game, Dr. Habib Zarifa, appears optimistic through a group of male and female players, including Leticia Aoun, Anna Haddad, Mariela Bou Habib, Ali Al-Hussaini, Raphael Qudsi and Ray Rai. The Tokyo Olympics route passes through the Asian qualifiers, the first and second qualify for the Olympics. The qualifiers were supposed to be held in China and then moved to Jordan because of the spread of the Corona virus in China, where it was supposed to be held on April 14th. But after the global virus crisis became global and was no longer confined to China, the qualifications were postponed until further notice, the president of the federation told “Al-Akhbar”. This crisis that overthrew Lebanon’s hosting of the Asian Championship and allows the first four champions to improve their points in the Asian rankings, which plays a positive role in the qualifying round for the Asian qualifiers for the Olympics.
The preparations of the men and women were under the supervision of Master Ralph Harb, who made a breakthrough with player Michel Samaha in Singapore in 2010 when he won the Samaha bronze Youth Olympics. The preparations are supposed to resume their activities after the Corona crisis recedes. A crisis that does not allow Dr. Zarifa to determine whether the delay was positive or negative. “It depends on the length of the crisis.”


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