Egyptian wrestlers beaten by clock

Russia's Alan Khugaev, red, fights Mohammad Gaber Ibrahim of Egypt during their 84kg Greco Roman Wrestling Final match in London on August 6, 2012. (AFP PHOTO/MANAN VATSYAYANA)

LONDON: Two Egyptian wrestlers saw their dream of competing at the London Olympics evaporate without stepping onto the mat after forfeiting their opening contests in a mix-up over times on Sunday.

Abdou Ahmed and Saleh Emara lost their first-round matches in the 66 and 96kg classes respectively on Sunday, the final day of the 2012 Games.

The programme started at 8.30am local time (0730GMT), in a bid to get everything completed well before the start of the closing ceremony, while the previous seven days of Olympic wrestling had commenced at 1pm (1200GMT).

A spokesman for the Egyptian Olympic team said: "What happened is that they were expecting to arrive at mid-day to start the competition at 1pm.

"They thought they were wrestling at 1pm like normal, but because of the closing ceremony they changed the timing to 8.30am and the team didn't know about it.

"It was in the booklet but they didn't see it, and because of that they were a little bit late.

"We know it is our mistake. We are investigating the matter now," the spokesman added.

"We are calling the administrator to see who is responsible. They should have known. We will know who is responsible in a couple of hours."

Neither of the two Egyptians was considered to be a gold medal prospect.





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