Category Archives: Sports

Lebanese Chirine Njeim: First Ever Olympian To Compete in Alpine Skiing & Marathon Events

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Lebanese Olympian Chirine Njeim completed yesterday the Women’s Marathon race with a time of 2h 51m 8s and ranked 109th out of 157 candidates. By doing so, Chirine joins a very exclusive club and becomes the only woman to compete in the Marathon distance for Lebanon and more importantly the 28th woman to ever represent her country in the Summer and Winter Olympics. Only 132 athletes (105 men, 27 women) have participated in both the Winter and Summer Games and Chirine is the only athlete in the world to have competed in alpine skiing and a track event at the Olympics. Chirine is also the first Lebanese female athlete to achieve the automatic qualifier in a track and field event.

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Chirine was aiming for a 2 hours and 40 minutes finish but the scorching heat in Brazil made the conditions more difficult for her and the other competitors. Nevertheless, I think what she has done is quite an amazing achievement and she has made us all proud!

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Meet Tarek Abou Al Dahab: Former Lebanese Cyclist Champion & Olympic Athlete in 1968 and 1972

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Aboudahab Source: AbdoGedeon

A Facebook post caught my attention last week about a former racing cyclist in Beirut called Abou el Dahab who runs his own bicycle shop with his son Osama in Zarif in Beirut. Abou el Dahab is 76 years old but he’s still an active cyclist and exercises everyday for 30 minutes in his small shop according to the post.

dahab Picture via Mohamad Cheblak

Tarek Abou el Dahab is also a Lebanese Olympian. He began competing in cycling events at the age of 18 in Paris where he was preparing for the road World Championship in Reims. Abou el Dahab won four Lebanese championships and qualified twice for the Olympic games in Mexico in 1968 and Munich in 1972. I looked online for the results of these two Olympics and found that Tarek did not finish the field race (Cycling) in 1968 and 1972 (there were a lot of DNFs) but did have a time in the 1972 track event.

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I found another article translated from Cyclopaedia by TheRustySquill about el Dahab. It says that he took part in the Clermont-Ferrand race in 1961, finished eleventh at the Four-Cantons race in Switzerland and also took part in the International Peace Race in 1962 (Berlin-Prague-Warsaw). More recently, Abou el Dahab was invited in 2012 for the 60th anniversary of the Peace Race in Germany where he was rewarded and reunited with former cyclist Tave Schur but I can’t find any sources that link to that story. Gustav-Adolf Schur (“Täve” Schur) is a former German cyclist and one of the most popular sportspeople in East Germany. He’s also the first German to win the Peace Race.

dahab1 Source: AbdoGedeon

I’d love to visit his shop one day and get to know him. I doubt that he ever got any recognition from the Lebanese authorities but he’s a true champion and people should know about him. I don’t know where his shop is in Zarif (Sanayeh) exactly but the author of the FB post shared his son’s mobile number Osama which is 70 039 787.

tarek Tarek Abou el Dahab at Peace Race – Source: atewebsite

rapha Tarek Abou el Dahab Source: atewebsite

15 Stunning Hiking & Biking Views from Akkar & Kobayat

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If you are planning a hiking trip anytime soon, North Lebanon and more specifically Akkar has some of the most beautiful hiking trails. As part of the Kobayat festivals, hiking and biking trips are organized for tourists and locals to explore Karm Chabt, one of the best naturally preserved Cedars forest reserve in Lebanon, Al Qammouaa reserve in Fnaidek, Nab3 el Chou7 in Akkar el Atika and other sites.

Here are few pictures taken to show you what you’re missing out on: (Photo Credits: Antoine Daher)

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Akkar Atika

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Biking Trip

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Lebanese Judo Champion Nacif Elias Calls Disqualification Unfair

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nacif Photo Credits: Judoinside

Lebanese Nacif Elias was unfortunately disqualified from his opening game against Argentina’s Emmanuel Lucenti. Elias was furious following the decision which he called unfair and protested the decision and refused to shake hands with his opponent or leave the fighting area for some time. He later on apologized and accepted the result but he still thinks he got robbed.

I am not a Judo expert but I asked a couple of friends and they told me the call was indeed unfair. I don’t know if we are allowed to submit an official complaint but I guess it’s too late anyways now. Tough luck for Elias and till next time!

I found a replay of the “illegal” move. If there are any Judo experts out there, please advise if it was the right call or not.

[YouTube]

Did the IOC Reprimand Lebanon For Barring Israeli Athletes From Bus?

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libano

Few days after the Lebanese Olympic team refused to ride on a bus with Israeli athletes travelling to the Games’ opening ceremony in Rio, the International Olympic Committee reprimanded the head of the Lebanese delegation on Sunday and warned Lebanese delegation head Salim al-Haj Nakoula that they would not accept any other situations like the one according to [Haaretz] and [Jpost].

I couldn’t find any official link to the Olympic Committee’s response but I wouldn’t be surprised if this happened. Nevertheless, if that’s the case, they can take this warning and shove it up their asses. It is the organizing committee’s job to make sure such incidents don’t take place in the first place and keep Lebanon & Israel apart. The Lebanese Delegation has every right to block the Israelis because they will end up in trouble back home if they don’t, and the organizing committee as well as the Olympic committee for the Rio 2016 should have made sure these teams don’t meet.

Some people will tell me that these are just sports and that we should be competing against Israelis instead of boycotting them. I partially agree but until the Lebanese authorities decide to do so, don’t expect our athletes to go hug Israeli athletes because that’s the Olympic spirit. They’d end up in jail or even worse might not be allowed to come back home.

On another note, it’s pretty funny to hear an Israeli minister describe the Lebanese act as being “antisemitism pure and simple, and the worst kind of racism”. I recommend he reads more about the Israeli Apartheid to understand what racism truly means.

Updates On The Lebanese Athletes Competing At The Rio 2016 Olympics

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leb

Update (13/08/2016):
– Elias Nacif was disqualified on his opening game.
– Anthony Barbar ranked 50th in the heats and didn’t qualify.
– Mona Shaito lost on her opening game.
– Chirine Njeim runs tomorrow and Ahmed Hazer on the 16th.

Lebanon had a rather disappointing start to the Rio 2016 Summer Olympics. Our Lebanese table tennis Mariana Sahakyanstar star lost in her opening game against a Nigerian player and is out. Ray Bassil, the world’s No1 female trap shooter, was hoping to clinch a medal but failed to qualify for the semi-finals unfortunately. Richard Mourjan, the first Lebanese canoeist to take part in the Olympics games, managed to finish both runs but ranked last. Our swimmer Gabriella Doueihy had an encouraging start but failed to qualify as well.

We still have a chance to grab a medal with our five remaining athletes:
Chirine Njeim (Female) – Athletics (Marathon Race)
Ahmad Hazer (Male) – Athletics
Elias Nacif (Male) – Judo
Anthony Barbar (Male) – Swimming
Mona Shaito (Female) – Fencing

Mariana Sahakyan (Female) – Table tennis (Out)
Ray Bassil (Female) – Shooting (Out)
Gabriella Doueihy (Female) – Swimming (Out)
Richard Mourjan (Male) – Canoe Slalom (Out)

You can check out their schedules [here]. I will update you as soon as we have new results.

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Lebanon’s Best Team Sport is Surprisingly Rugby League

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leb sport

The Independent surveyed the world rankings of the most popular team sports and came up with a map that shows which sport each country is best at. The team sports featured were football, rugby Union, test cricket, volleyball, baseball, basketball, ice hockey, field hockey, handball, netball, and rugby league.

Lebanon’s best sport was Rugby League as our ranking is 20th worldwide. Most people would think we’d be better ranked in Basketball but we are only 43rd while our Football ranking keeps getting worse and worse (149th).

The reason why Lebanon is so highly ranked in Rugby League is because we have experienced and talented Australian-Lebanese players on our National Team. In fact, our National Team managed to qualify for the second time to the 2017 Rugby League World Cup after defeating South Africa twice in a row.

If we look at other countries in the Middle East, Syria’s best sport is Basketball as well as Jordan and Turkey. Iraq’s best team sport is baseball, while it’s handball for Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar, and ice hockey for the UAE (huh?). Oman’s best sport is field hockey.

You can check out the full maps [here].

Thanks Mustapha!

Ray Bassil, The World’s No1 Female Trap Shooter, is Targeting Lebanon’s First Olympic Gold

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raybassil Photo Credits: CNN

Update: Ray didn’t qualify to the semi-finals but improved on her previous performance. She’ll get that medal in 2020. Third time’s the charm 🙂

Ray Bassil had a rather disappointing Olympic debut four years ago in London but she’s been training hard ever since, earning medal after medal and cup after cup and climbing to the top of the Trap Shooting World Rankings. Ray Bassil is today the world’s #1 female trap shooter and she might as well be Lebanon’s first ever gold medalist at the Rio 2016 Olympics.

Ray Bassil spoke to CNN about her climb to the top and the obstacles she had to overcome in Lebanon mainly due to the lack of resources and financial support for Lebanese athletes.

Ray starts competing today. Best of luck!

#Rio2016: Lebanon’s Population is 6.2 Million According to NBC

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leb

The 2016 Olympic Games were formally opened in a beautiful ceremony earlier today and were broadcasted to an estimated audience of three billion. These are the first ever Olympics to be held in South America and more than 200 teams are taking part in these games among them the Lebanese team of course.

I missed the opening ceremony this morning but a friend sent me a screenshot showing the Lebanese team and how NBC displayed Lebanon’s population as being 6.2 Million. I wonder where they got this number from? They must have added the refugees or the Lebanese in Brazil. Lebanon’s current population is around 4.5 Million. On another note, our Olympic costume is quite ugly.

Lebanon is being represented by nine athletes this year in seven different categories. You can read all about them [here].

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Thanks Miche!

Lebanese Competing At The Rio 2016 Olympics: Names + Full Schedule

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Leb

There are nine Lebanese athletes competing in seven different sports at the Rio 2016 Summer Olympics which kick off on Sunday.

Mariana Sahakyan (Female) – Table tennis
Ray Bassil (Female) – Shooting
Chirine Njeim (Female) – Athletics (Marathon Race)
Ahmad Hazer (Male) – Athletics
Elias Nacif (Male) – Judo
Anthony Barbar (Male) – Swimming
Gabriella Doueihy (Female) – Swimming
Mona Shaito (Female) – Fencing
Richard Mourjan (Male) – Canoe Slalom

Richard Mourjan – The First Lebanese Canoeist to take part in the Olympic Games

The youngest Lebanese athlete, Gabriella Doueihy, is 17 years old while the oldest is Mariana Sahakyan who’s 38. For those who wish to follow them, their schedule is as follows:

Saturday August 6 at 3 PM:
– Mariana Sahakyan – Table Tennis Women’s Singles

Sunday August 7:
– Ray Bassil: Shooting Women’s trap at 3 PM
– Gabriella Doueihy: Swimming Women’s 400m freestyle
– Richard Merjan: Canoe slalom Men’s canoe single

Tuesday August 9:
– Elias Nacif: Judo Men -81 kg Elimination Round of 32

Wednesday August 10 at 3:10 PM
– Mona Shaito: Fencing Women’s individual foil

Thursday August 11 at 7:02 PM
– Anthony Barbar: Swimming Men’s 50m freestyle

Sunday August 14
– Chirine Njeim: Athletics Women’s marathon

Tuesday August 16:
– Ahmad Hazer: Athletics · Men’s 110m hurdles


Chirine Njeim is the first lady to represent Lebanon in the Marathon distance

On another note, Julie Dib was officially selected for Rio 2016 Olympic games referee’s committee and will be the first Arab female official referee in Taekwondo at the Olympics.

I used the (really lousy) Rio2016 website as well as Google to figure out the schedules. I will keep you posted with results as soon as they are out. Lebanon has only missed 1 Summer Olympic Games back in 1956 (it was a boycott) but has yet to earn a medal since the 1980 Summer Olympics held in Moscow.

Best of luck to all our athletes!