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1924 The popular Sevens format debuts at the Olympics. Men’s and Women’s team tournaments, featuring 12 teams each. Teams of seven players on a full-size pitch with seven-minute halves.
August 6 to 11 The 1500m world record, regarded as one of the great “untouchables”, fell last summer courtesy of a 25-year-old Ethiopian tipped to do for women’s athletics what Usain Bolt did for men’s. Genzebe, the sister of a three-time Olympic champion and a 10,000m Olympic silver medallist, is recognised as one of the world’s most exciting young athletes after setting four world records – from 1,500m to 5000m – by huge margins. All ve of the other GCC nations will also have representatives in Rio, with Qatar boasting the largest delegation courtesy of its handball team, who secured the region’s only place when they won the quali cation tournament with home advantage in Doha. Complemented by a judoka, a table tennis player of Chinese nationality, and two shooters – one of whom is two-time Dakar Rally winner Nasser Al Attiyah – Qatar’s delegation will number 34, which is 31 more than Oman, who will take the smallest delegation.
Qatar’s contingent is marginally more than Bahrain, who will take 30 athletes: 26 track and eld, two swimmers, and one each in shooting and wrestling. Saudi Arabia has also seen one shooter and one judoka qualify, while four track and eld athletes have achieved the qualifying standards to make the trip. All six Saudis are men.
Kuwait’s delegation of seven athletes will be forced to compete under the Olympic ag after the Executive Board of the IOC suspended the country’s National Olympic Committee for the second time in ve years amid allegations of government interference. Fencer Abdulaziz Al Shatti, having quali ed from the regional Asia-Oceania tournament, will be joined by a half-dozen compatriots who have attained quota places in shooting.