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The New Arab

Arab Olympians to look out for at Rio 2016

Many Arab athletes will be taking part in the Rio Olympics [Getty]

Date of publication: 3 August, 2016

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As the Rio Olympics are set kick off, The New Arab takes a look at top Arab Olympians with good chances of taking home medals this year.

As the Rio Olympics are set to sprint out of the starting blocks on Sunday, The New Arab takes a look at the Arab Olympians with good chances of taking home medals this year.

Qatari Mutaz Essa Barshim is a gold medal favourite in the high jump event. At London 2012 he was the joint-bronze medalist and has recently been in good form, coming in first place at the Asian Indoor Championships this year with an impressive leap of 2.35m.

Bahrain's long-distance runner Ruth Jebet is tipped to win the 3,000 steeplechase. The 19-year-old Kenyan-born athlete became the second woman earlier this year to break the nine-minute barrier in the obstacle race.

In the boxing ring, Egyptian middleweight Hosam Abdin and Moroccan welterweight Mohammed Rabii both look set to make their respective North African nations proud with knockout performances.

Qatar's handball team has proven it will be a force to be reckoned with at its first-ever Olympic appearance with a streak of five friendly wins in preparation for the games. The tiny Gulf state won a place at Rio after beating Iran in the finals of the Asian Handball Qualifiers last year.

Many other Arabs could shine at this year's games too, including pioneer Saudi Arabian sportswoman Sarah al-Attar.

     
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