We have 9 very talented Lebanese athletes at Rio 2016 Olympic Games and you should know who they are!
The youngest athlete, Gabriella, is 17 years old. The eldest, Mariana, is 38 years old.
Lebanon has 9 players competing in the following 7 sports:
- Shooting (We got this)
- Table Tennis
- Canoe Slalom
Lebanese Athletes At Rio 2016 Olympic Games
1) Mariana Sahakian
Mariana, age 38, is the eldest of the 9 Lebanese athletes at Rio right now. She’s competing in the Women’s Singles Table Tennis.
Unfortunately, Mariana lost against Oshonaike from Nigeria and will not be advancing. It was, however, a very close game with the final score at 4-3.
2) Ray Bassil
Ray Bassil, age 27, won the Gold Medal at the ISSF (International Shooting Sport Federation) World Cup 2016 that was held in Nicosia, Cyprus.
She is competing in the Women’s shooting trap event at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
She has a high chance at winning Gold in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. Yes, it would be ironic if Lebanon got its first ever Gold medal from winning at the Olympic game shooting event.
Check out the article CNN did about her.
3) Chirine Njeim
Chirine Njeim, age 31, is competing in the Women’s marathon (Athletics). She actually represented Lebanon in 2002, 2006 and 2010 Winter Olympics as an Alpine skier. She now represents Lebanon as a marathoner at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
She’s the first Lebanese woman to qualify for the Summer Olympic Games in the marathon distance. She’s also one of the few athletes to participate in both the Summer and Winter Olympics.
Only 132 athletes (105 men and 27 women) have ever participated in both Summer and Winter Olympics. Chirine will be the first to have ever competed in alpine skiing and a track event at the Olympics.
4) Ahmad Hazer
Ahmad Hazer, age 26, is competing in the Men’s 110m Hurdles (Athletics).
He competed in the 60 m indoor hurdles at the 2010 IAAF World Indoor Championships with a time of 8.36s and in the 110 meter hurdles at the 2012 Summer Olympics.
Hazer holds the Lebanese records for the 110 m hurdles and 300 m. He was the first Lebanese athlete to run sub 14s over 110m hurdles.
In 2013, he was banned for doping and received a 2-year ban.
5) Nacif Elias
Nacif Elias, age 27, is competing in Men’s Jude – 81kg. Nacif was the flag-bearer at the opening ceremony of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
He used to be part of the Brazilian team but switched (read came home) to the Lebanese team in 2013.
I switched because I love Lebanon and Lebanon is my country of origin. And the Lebanese Judo Federation, especially Francois Saade, support me so much!
Since the switch, Nacif won silver at the Asian Games in Incheon in 2014 and won the PanAm Open in Lima and Buenos Aires in 2016.
He’s also another one of the Lebanese athletes at Rio 2016 Olympic Games with a high chance of winning Gold.
Check out his Facebook page.
6) Anthony Barbar
Anthony Barbar, age 23, is competing in Men’s 50m Freestyle (Swimming). Anthony grew up in the United States but wanted to represent the country where his father’s grandparents grew up. So he is representing Lebanon at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
He is worried about the tension surrounding him swimming for Lebanon despite growing up in the United States, so let’s show him some love!
7) Gabriella Doueihy
Gabriella Doueihy, age 17, is the youngest athlete in the Lebanese team at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. She is competing in the Women’s 400m Freestyle (Swimming).
Check out the interview done (in Arabic and French) by Sports961 with Gabriella at Rio:
8) Mona Shaito
Mona Shaito, age 22, is competing in Women’s Foil Individual (Fencing). Mona, also a Lebanese- American, represented Lebanon in the 2012 Olympic Games in London. Her brother, Zain Shaito, also represented Lebanon.
9) Richard Merjan
Richard Merjan, age 27, is competing in the Men’s Single Canoe (Canoeing). It will be the first time Lebanon competes in that category at the Olympic Games!
Richard has had impressive results at the Asian championship, which led to his qualification for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
Richard started canoeing at the age of 12 in High School and he resides and trains in Australia. He is also studying Arts-Commerce there.
Check out his Facebook page.
You can find the full schedule of when each one is competing, here.
Be sure to share this! Let’s make sure every Lebanese knows who’s representing them at the Rio 2016 Olympic games so we can support them!