Bahrain is set to have its largest-ever Olympic squad
London 2012 marked a watershed in Bahraini sporting history as Maryam Yusuf Jamal claimed the country’s first-ever Olympic medal, grabbing bronze in the women’s 1,500m.
The class of 2016 is hoping to build on that success this summer. We take a look at the athletics stars vying for the podium, as well as Bahrain’s first Olympic wrestler.
Kemi Adekoya The 23-year-old produced an incredible race to claim the World Indoor 400m title in Oregon in March and will be hoping to transfer that form to Rio. In July, she set her fastest time of the year in France, but will need to smash her personal best of 50.86 to challenge.
ElL Hassan El-Abbassi The Moroccan-born 10,000m specialist took the Asian Games title on his international debut in 2014, following it up with a gold at the Asian Championships. The experience he gained at last year’s Worlds should stand him in good stead here.
Mimi Belete A relative “veteran” among the Bahraini team, this will be Belete’s second Games, while she has also appeared at the last four Worlds. The 28-year-old will be running both the 1,500m and 5,000m in Rio, the former representing her best chance of reaching a final.
Abubakkar Abbas One of the brightest hopes in Bahraini athletics, the 20-year-old sprinter turned heads when he won bronze at the World Juniors in 2014. Two years on, and with a senior Worlds under his belt, Abbas is raring to make an impression in Rio.
Adam Batirov Wrestling is clearly in the Batirov family’s blood as Adam’s brother, Mavlet, is a two-time Olympic champ. Having won gold at this year’s Asian Championships, the 20-year-old qualified for Rio with a superb victory in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, in April.