Jordan’s delegation to this summer’s Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro has increased again after triathlete Lawrence Fanous confirmed his place to South America.
The Arab Triathlon Champion narrowly missed out on automatic qualification, but his performances impressed sufficiently, especially his recent 27th place in the ITU Mexico World Cup event, to secure an invitation as the first ever Jordanian triathlete to compete in an Olympic Games.
His bid to qualify took him across the world, but his hard work and dedication paid off and he can now start preparing for the Rio de Janeiro Games, which get underway on August 5.
“So happy and it’s hard to put into words right now just how much,” said Fanous. “What I will say that after breaking my leg seven years ago and having such a terrible season last year, so close to my final goal, I’m living proof that you can achieve your ultimate goals despite any major setbacks in your life.”
Fanous will now join boxer Hussein Ishaiash and taekwondo star Ahmad Abu Ghaush who have also booked their Rio spots. Swimmer Khader Baqleh also has one foot on the plane after making the B time for the 200m freestyle, but he is awaiting his confirmation letter in July.
The Jordan Olympic Committee (JOC) applied for Fanous to be considered and have supported the 30-year-old through its Olympic Programme for the past 18 months. He was also supported by an IOC Solidarity Scholarship.
The JOC Secretary General, Lana Al Jaghbeer, said: “We are delighted that our investment in Lawrence has paid off and we will support him all the way to Rio. Triathlon is developing here in Jordan and we hope that Lawrence can inspire the next generation of triathletes.
“We are still supporting several athletes hoping to qualify and also there are opportunities for more invitations so we wish all of our sportsmen and women well in the coming weeks as we finalise our delegation.”