Who's who in Palestine's Olympic Team?

Who's who in Palestine's Olympic Team
3 min read
Meet the five Palestinian athletes who are representing Palestine at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics.
Flag bearers Dania Nour and Mohammed Hamada lead their team during the Opening Ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games [Patrick Smith/Getty Images]

Both Palestinians and Arabs are eagerly following the ongoing Olympic Games in Tokyo, which started on Friday, to follow the five Palestinian stars who are competing in the prestigious sporting event and hoping to bring home medals.

Representing Palestine in the Tokyo Olympics are five athletes: runner Hanna Barakat, swimmers Dania Nour and Yazan Al-Bawwab, judoka Wesam Abu Rmilah and weightlifter Mohammed Hamada.

This is the seventh time Palestine has sent a team to the Olympic Games since the Palestinian Olympic Committee gained membership of the International Committee in 1996 and took part in the same year in Atlanta, US. 

The judoka: Wesam Abu Rmilah

Wesam Abu Rmilah is considered among the top judokas in Palestine and will take part in the 73kg category competition. He was born in Jerusalem to a sport-loving family: his brothers, Ahmad and Amro, are also outstanding judokas.  His father Khaled Abu Rmilah is a former Palestinian judo champion, and an experienced coach, where he worked previously for the Palestinian Judo Federation.

Wesam has been awarded a number of local titles, and took part in a number of external and internal training camps in order to prepare as much as possible for this years Olympics. He was nominated by the International Judo Federation due to his consecutive high scores in the sport. 

The weightlifter: Mohammed Hamada

Palestinian national, Mohammed Hamada, drew extensive attention in Uzbekistan's recently held Junior World Weightlifting Championships after he achieved excellent results in the event. He also competed in the International and Asian Championships, and his outstanding performance earned him an invitation to the Tokyo Olympics.

At the Tokyo Games, the 19-year old hopes to beat his lifting record set at the World Junior Championships, where he lifted a total of 312 kilograms. He has been training relentlessly in Qatar and Russia in preparation for the games ahead. 

The Palestinian delegation hope that Hamada will be able to lift 330kg in total - 150kg in the snatch and 180kg in the clean and jerk, and bring home a medal. 

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The swimmers: Dania Nour and Yazan Al-Bawwab

Dania Nour and Yazan Al-Bawwab are the swimmers representing Palestine in the pool. Nour is widely known as a champion of short-distance races and currently hopes to improve on her personal best at the Tokyo Olympics.

As for Al-Bawwab, who lives in Canada, he wants to perform his very best for his nation. Hopes are high for the swimmer, since he attracted attention at the World Swimming Championships in Qatar in 2019 after winning first place in the butterfly.

The runner: Hanna Barakat

Palestinian runner, Hanna Barakat, was born in Tulkarm in the West Bank, but currently resides in the US. Her father is an Olympic veteran who played for the American hockey team in the Olympic Games in Los Angeles in 1984.

Barakat has achieved impressive records in the 100m, 200m, and 400m races while representing her university in the US, and she was one of the champions of the 400m relay race for the Ivy League Championships. She is hoping to reach the semi-finals in the 100m.

This is an edited translation from our Arabic edition. To read the original please click here.

This article is part of The New Arab's special coverage of the Tokyo Olympics. Click here to read the whole series.