RIO DE JANEIRO: Six-time Olympian Fehaid Al-Deehani battled wet and blustery conditions to win the gold medal in the men’s double trap event yesterday.
The 49-year-old Kuwaiti, competing under the Olympic flag, defeated Marco Innocenti of Italy in the duel for gold, nailing 26 orange targets out of 30 to Innocenti’s 24.
The bronze medal went to Steven Scott who defeated fellow Briton Tim Kneale with a perfect score of 30 in their match-up for third place.
Deehani won bronze in double trap in Sydney 2000, when he became the first Kuwaiti of any sport to win a medal at the Olympic Games. He won another bronze in trap in London 2012.
The veteran needed a shoot-off with American Joshua Richmond to get into the finals. A proud officer in the Kuwait army, Deehani dropped to the ground and kneeled after reaching the final, then pounded his chest as he walked away. In the gold medal match, Deehani raised his arms in triumph after hitting the final two targets, then turned and again pounded his chest at the crowd.
Deehani was forced to take part in Brazil as a neutral as Kuwait is suspended by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and other leading federations such as FIFA, football’s world body, over government interference in sport. Deehani is one of nine competing as an Independent Olympic Athlete (IOA). He turned down an offer from the IOC to carry the neutral’s flag at last Friday’s opening ceremony, telling Kuwaiti media: “I am a military man and I will only carry the Kuwait flag. I cannot carry the IOC flag.” Deehani is the first independent to win gold at an Olympics. – Agencies