A pair of Egyptian wrestlers were forced to forfeit their matches Sunday after showing up to the arena late at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. Abdou Omar Abdou Ahmed of the 66 kg division and Saleh Emera of the 96 kg division were a half hour late for the start of qualifying at 8:30 a.m., local time.
Throughout the week, wrestling began at 1:00 p.m. in London. The start of matches was bumped to an earlier time to accommodate the Closing Ceremony in the evening, however. The team and officials were reportedly seen in the morning pleading with a bus driver to take them to the arena from the Olympic Village. One of the wrestlers fell to his knees crying when told he was disqualified.
An Egyptian spokesman said that the team would investigate the matter. They can't expect much in the way of leniency at this point, however. The schedule had been posted for months, and the gold medal has already been handed out in the 66 kg division with the gold medal match in the 96 kg division set for 9:39 a.m. ET.
It is absolutely heartbreaking to think that two athletes spent over two weeks waiting for their chance in the Olympic Village, not to mention years of training, only to see their chance vanish on a technicality, albeit an important one.
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