As Jordan prepares to take its place on the world’s sporting stage at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro this summer, we take a trip back through time to focus on all the wonderful Jordanian names that have graced the biggest stage of them all over the year, starting with our first appearance at the Moscow Games in 1980.
Although we haven’t secured an official medal yet, there were bronze medals for taekwondo local legends Samer Kamal and Ihsan Sameeh in Seoul (1988) and for Ammar Fahed in Barcelona (1992) when the sport was only a ‘test’ event.
Jordan’s first participation at an Olympics was in shooting, when Mohammad Samara and Husam Flaih competed in the rifle 50m and Zeyad Salem Faraj, Ameer Mohammad Barakat, Khairi Yaser Omar, Mohammad Issa Shahin and Nader George Shalhoub competed in the Skeet.
The delegation included: Taher Hekmat, Minister of Youth and Sport and Chef de Mission, Mustafa Al Hassan, President of the Delegation, Majed Mansour, President Assistant.
Los Angeles (1984)
Former athlete Mohammad Jameel Abu Tayeb was the Chef de Mission during the games which saw Jordan compete in fencing, shooting and athletics.
Murad Barakat was the flag holder at the opening ceremony where he was joined by shooting teammates Hussam Abdel Rahman, Irfan Adlibi, Ali Awasah, Zeyad Al Farkh, Aysar Al Hiarri, Mohammad Al Jbour and Mohammad Shoushi. Ayman Jmai'an took part in the fencing, while Raed Bader, Met'eb Al Fawaeer, Basel Al Kilani, Isameel Mahmoud and Amjad Tawalbeh competed in the athletics events.
Seoul Olympic Games 1988
Seoul saw Jordan secure those ‘unofficial’ taekwondo bronze medals through Samer Kamal and Ihsan Sameeh with their teammates including Jacqueline Al Doqum (table tennis), Eliana Parakeds (archery), Ali Shehadeh (fencing), Omar Babaj and Abdel Nasser Shabab (boxing), Munir Al Masri and Jehad Al Sharif (wrestling). Away from the competition, Mowafaq Al Fawwaz was the Chef de Mission.
Samer’s success came in the 64kg weight while Ihsan’s was in the 54kg category.
Barcelona brought more ‘unofficial’ glory to Jordan with Ammar Fahed claiming another bronze in the taekwondo test event. His team members included Khaled Naghawi – shooting (skeet), Nadia Rashad – table tennis, Tawfiq Nwaiser – taekwondo, Fakher Al Din Fouad – high jump and Awwad Saris – athletics (1000m, 5000m).
Jordan competed in swimming for the first time in Atlanta through Mera Ghnaim and Omar Dalal, with Fakher Al Din Fouad returning for his second appearance in the high jump with Nada Qawar competing in the discuss and shot put. Mohammad Al Qasem (shooting) and Waleed Al Awazem (judo) completed the team which was headed by Mohammad Dawoudyeh, Minister of Youth and Sport.
In Sydney, HRH Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein represented Jordan in the equestrian and she was joined by Tetiana Al Najjar (table tennis), Hana Majaj and Omar Abu Faris (swimming), Awad Al Aboudi (weightlifting), Mohammad Al Fararjeh (taekwondo), Mufeed Al Lawanseh – shooting) rifle 50m). Zaha Al Talhouni (taekwondo) took part in the Youth Camp.
Athens Olympic Games 2004
Jordan came close to medals at the Athens Games in taekwondo with both Nadin Diwani and Ibrahim Aqel reaching the later stages. In table tennis, HRH Princess Zeina Rashid Al Hassan made the first of her two appearances, along with Ibrahim Bisharat (equestrian), Omar Abu Faris and Samar Nassar (swimming), and Khalil Hanahneh and Basmeh Al Oshosh (athletics).
Beijing Olympic Games 2008
Current JOC Secretary General Lana Al Jaghbeer became the first woman to be a Jordanian chef de mission in Beijing when HRH Princess Zeina Rashid Al Hassan (table tennis) Nadin Dawani (taekwondo), Khalil Hanahneh (athletics) and Ibrahim Bisharat (equestrian) returned for their second Olympic appearances. They were joined by Bara'a Marwan (athletics) and swimmers Anas Hamadah and Razan Fareed.
London saw five of the delegation of nine qualify with Ray’a Hatahet replacing taekwondo medal hopeful Dana Touran at the last minute due to injury. Nadin Dawani (taekwondo) and Ibrahim Bisharat (equestrian) became Jordan’s first three-time Olympians. Also in the delegation were Mohammad Abu Libdeh (taekwondo), Kareem Innab and Talita Baqleh (swimming). Rima Fareed (athletics) and Mithqal Abaddi (marathon) completed the delegation. Ihab Darweesh fought in the boxing tournament.