Kolkata, June 4 (IANS) Shooter Fehaid Al-Deehani, the first person to win an Olympic gold medal as an independent athlete at Rio 2016 Olympics, on Thursday said the feat was something incredible keeping in mind the challenges he had to overcome to reach there.
Fehaid was unable to represent Kuwait at Rio after its Olympic body was suspended by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
The 53-year old decided to go solo and impressed one and all when he beat Italy’s Marco Innocenti 26-24 in the final of the double trap shooting event.
“The quantity of problems I faced was a challenge and something incredible. God helped me to win,” said Fehaid during a webinar on the fifth episode of #ManavRachnaHappyTimes on Zoom platform.
“To overcome all problems and win the medal, it was incredible when I look back,” added Fehaid, an army officer who was one of eight independent athletes at the 2016 Games.
The IOC had banned Kuwait in October 2015 due to domestic laws that permit government interference in sports.
Speaking about the invasion of Kuwait in 1990 by Iraq, Fehaid said: “It was 2 AM. That time all streets were full of Iraqi soldiers. Everywhere we go roads are blocked. It was a very bad situation.”
Fehaid won bronze in the event at the 2000 Sydney Games, and another bronze in single trap at London 2012 while competing for Kuwait.