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Amir congratulates Al-Turqi – ‘Gold’ comes home

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Abdullah Al-Rasheedi, an independent athlete from Kuwait competing on the Independent Olympic Team, shows his bronze medal during the award ceremony for men’s skeet event at Olympic Shooting Center at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on Aug 13. (AP)

KUWAIT CITY, Aug 14, (Agencies): His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah sent on Sunday a cable of congratulations to Kuwaiti shooter Abdullah Al-Turqi Al- Rasheedi, congratulating him for winning the bronze medal in the men’s skeet at the Rio De Janeiro Summer Olympic Games. His Highness hailed this distinguished Kuwaiti accomplishment which has proven capabilities of the Kuwaiti youth in achieving outstanding sport glories, wishing him all the best in representing Kuwait at the regional and international arenas. His Highness the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al Sabah and His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al- Hamad Al Sabah sent similar cables. National Assembly Speaker Marzouq Ali Al-Ghanim also on Sunday sent a cable of congratulations to Al- Rasheedi for winning the bronze medal.

Deputy director general of the public authority for sports Dr Humoud Fleitah congratulated Al-Rasheedi on the bronze medal he grabbed in the skeet championship. “The well-deserved achievement entitles Al-Rasheedi to an award worth KD 3,000 per month for four years as per the regulations of the professionalism statutes,” Fleitah said in a press release. “The award is meant to encourage the sportspeople to assert themselves internationally. “The public authority for sports, its board of directors and director general spare no effort in translating into action the instructions of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al- Jaber Al-Sabah, His Highness the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al- Hamad Al-Sabah to honor and encourage the skilled sportspeople and athletes,” he went on.

He voiced hope that the Kuwaiti youth will be able to make more achievements in the coming sports events. From the beginning of the men’s skeet semi-final on Saturday, there was something about Abdullah Al-Rasheedi that grabbed the Brazilian fans. Maybe it was his age, the oldest of the competitors at 52. Maybe it was the fact that the Kuwaiti was competing under the Olympic flag, his country having been banned from competition by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). For Brazilian spectator Daniel Grillo, it was simply his “bigode,” Portuguese for mustache. “He looks so exotic with that mustache,” said Grillo, a 24-year-old student. With scores of other Brazilians in the stands, he shouted “Bigode” in a chant that would not be out of place at the Maracana, the soccer cathedral down the road. And with a crowd-winning smile, Rasheedi went on to win the bronze in skeet, his first medal in six Olympic Games. “I feel like I am from Brazil and not Kuwait,” said a grateful Rasheedi, who is also a falconer. “Thank you Brazil!” He thought it was a funny nickname, especially since his mustache used to be much bigger and is now just a finger-wide graying strip above his mouth.

Without a national uniform, Rasheedi wore an Arsenal jersey for the competition, prompting the question of whether he was a supporter of the English Premier League soccer club. Kuwaiti shooter Fehaid Al-Deihani, who won a gold medal in the double trap competition in the 2016 Rio Olympics, got a great reception upon his return to Kuwait on Sunday.

Al-Deihani won a bronze medal in the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games and his second bronze in the 2012 London Olympics.

Kuwaiti shooter Fehaid Al-Deihani, who won the gold medal at the Rio Olympics in the double trap competition, being mobbed by fans upon his arrival at Kuwait airport
Kuwaiti shooter Fehaid Al-Deihani, who won the gold medal at the Rio Olympics in the double trap competition, being mobbed by fans upon his arrival at Kuwait airport

At the VIP lounge of Kuwait International Airport, a large number of officials, sportsmen and the public headed by Minister of Information and State  Minister for Youth Affairs Sheikh Salman Al-Homoud, Director of the Public Authority for Sports Sheikh Ahmed Al- Mansour, Assistant Director for Sports Affairs in the authority Dr Homoud Flaitah, Head of Target Shooting Club Eng Deaj Al-Utaibi and MP Majed Mousa, in addition to a huge number of target shooting fans warmly welcomed the Olympic champion.

Al-Deihani expressed his pride and happiness for winning the gold medal which he considers as his greatest achievement throughout his life. He also expressed gratitude to all those who supported him in his mission. He offered the gold medal to HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, HH the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawwaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and HH the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah as well as the Kuwaiti people who supported him. However, he expressed deep sorrow that the Olympic Flag was raised, not the Kuwaiti Flag, when he was honored for his win. As an activist, he could not look at the Olympics Flag because he is supposed to raise his head only to salute the Flag of Kuwait.

Meanwhile, Sheikh Salman Al-Homoud affirmed Al-Deihani made the greatest achievement for Kuwait in the Olympic Games, praising his abilities. He also wished for the immediate return of Kuwaiti sport to international events. On the other hand, MP Majed Al-Mousa congratulated the political leadership of Kuwait and its people for the remarkable sports achievements of Al-Deihani and Abdullah Al-Rasheedi who won a bronze medal in the Olympics

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