THE Libyan Olympic Committee, LOC, has chosen seven athletes to represent Libya in five different sports disciplines of the 41 to be contested at the 26th Olympiad, Beijing 2008, to be held in the Chinese capital from August 8 to 24. The Libyan contingent leaves for Beijing today, Saturday.
It will be Libya’s 12th participation in the Modern Games since 1964. This august event under the auspices of the International Olympic Committee was launched in Athens in 1896 and has been held at four-yearly intervals except for the war years (1914-18) and (1939-45).
Libya, can never entertain high expectations by way of winning medals, but its participation follows the spirit of the Olympics, that of holding high the values of sport with its presence and the motto of the father of the games of the modern era, Pierre de Coubertin, that the importance is sport in not winning but participating.
The athletes representing Libya, two of them females, will be:
ADEL ZAID, 30, in athletics, who will be running the Marathon on the last day of the Games, August 24;
GHADA ALI, also in athletics, by running in the 400m. She is only 19;
EZZIDEEN TLISH, 26, in the men’s under 68 kg category of Taekwondo;
AHMED BELGASIM, 20, in the men’s Road Cycling event on August 10;
MIHAMMED BEN SALAH, 26, Judo, in the Over 100kg category on August 14;
SUFIAN ALJADDI, at 16 the youngest of the Libyan squad, who will Swimming the 100m and 200m backstroke;
ASMAHAN FARHAT, 18, will take part in the women’s 100m breastroke on August 10.
Mohammed Ben Salah, for whom, along with Adel Zaid and Ezzideen Tlish, this will be his second participation in the Games, will head the group in the opening ceremony as he will be the squad’s flag bearer.