Egypt's most famous Olympian may represent Qatar in Rio 2016

Hatem Maher, Saturday 25 Aug 2012

Disgruntlement by the treatment he got from Egypt's Wrestling Federation, Karam Gaber considers representing Qatar at the 2016 Olympic Games

Karam Gaber
Karam Mohamed Gaber Ebrahim of Egypt competes against Nenad Zugaj of Croatia (in blue) during the 84-kg Greco-Roman wrestling competition at the 2012 Summer Olympics (Photo: Reuters)

Karam Gaber, Egypt's greatest wrestler and Olympian of all time, may represent Qatar at the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil, his brother said on Friday.

"Karam is seriously considering an offer to represent Qatar in Rio de Janeiro," his brother and coach Adel Gaber told Al-Arabiya website.

"He also received an American offer to compete in the professional wrestling but he turned it down because it would not allow him to feature in the Olympic Games.

"Karam was not financially rewarded for the London Games, and the prize offered by the sports ministry is very poor. The wrestling federation was even hoping that he would not be able to make any achievement in London," he added.

The 32-year-old Greco-Roman wrestler made history after winning the silver medal in the men's 84kg at the London Games earlier this month after losing to Russia's Alan Khugaev in the final. He collected his second Olympic medal, having clinched the 96kg gold at the 2004 Athens Games.

Gaber, who has been involved in numerous disputes with the wrestling federation since winning the gold medal eight years ago, has recently launched a fresh attack on the federation, accusing it of disregarding his triumph in London.

"They offered me the same amount that I got after winning the gold medal in Athens in 2004 (LE 1 million)," he was quoted as saying by local media.

Upon winning the silver medal, Gaber, who was named the world wrestler of the year in 2004 after seizing the gold medal (96kg) in Athens, became the greatest Egyptian Olympian of all time.

Weightlifter Ibrahim Shams was Egypt’s last best Olympic performer for winning two medals in two different editions of Olympic Games (bronze medal in Berlin 1936 and gold medal in London 1948).

Gaber has given Egypt its second medal in the London Games after fencer Alaaeldin Abouelkassem's silver medal.

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