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Deehani makes independent history

Deehani makes independent history
Highlights

Fehaid Al Deehani made Olympic history by becoming the first athlete to win gold under the Independent flag. The Kuwaiti marksman beat Italian Marco Innocenti to win gold in the men’s double trap event on Wednesday.

Rio de Janeiro: Fehaid Al Deehani made Olympic history by becoming the first athlete to win gold under the Independent flag. The Kuwaiti marksman beat Italian Marco Innocenti to win gold in the men’s double trap event on Wednesday.

He had previously claimed bronze in Sydney in 2000 and at the London Games four years ago. Al Deehani, 49, is one of nine competing as an Independent Olympic Athlete at Rio 2016.

The army officer was forced to take part as a neutral after Kuwait was suspended by the International Olympic Committee over government interference in sport.

It was the first time an independent athlete has won a medal since Barcelona 1992, when a silver and two bronzes were won in shooting. After claiming gold, he said: “That was for my country, for the people who don’t want us to participate in the Olympics.

“I’m showing them that we are here and we got the medal.” Al-Deehani who was competing in his sixth games was already Kuwait’s most decorated Olympic athlete and refused to carry the IOA flag during the opening ceremony in Brazil.

He competed in a plain blue sweatshirt and refused to celebrate on the podium as the IOC anthem was played. Tearful Al-Deehani added: “It hurts very much. I can’t describe my pain. It is too sad.” Britain’s Steven Scott shot a perfect 30 out of 30 to defeat compatriot Tim Kneale in the bronze medal match.

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