Nabil Mabrook, head of the Palestinian Sport Union said that Palestinian Athletics will participate Athens Olympics which starts Friday, 13 August until 29 August, 2004.
Mabrook said that the Palestinian sport delegates participating in Athens are; Akram Thaher, head of the delegates, Ibrahim Al-Taweel, Head of the Palestinian Swimming Union, Khalil Jaber, coordinator, and the athletes, two runners, Sana’ Bakhit, Abdul-Salam Al-Dibji, swimmer, Raed Oweisat, who will be also participating in the opening ceremony.
Palestinian Athletes participated for the first time in Atlanta, 1996 when the two runners Majed Abu Maraheel and Ehab Salameh participated in the 10km race, and Sana’ Bakhit, who will be participating in the 800M running contest on August 20 th , while Al-Dibji will participate in the 800M running contest on August 25 th
Mabrook expressed his hopes that the Palestinian athletes will achieve advanced positions and scores.
Runner Sana’ Bakhit, participated in the Asian championship in Iran, February 2004, and achieve the sixth position in the 800m running race after completing in 2 minutes, 28 seconds, and achieve the title of the best athlete in the Arab championship in Cairo, 2003.
Sana ‘, participated in several Arab and local competitions, and achieved tens of medals, she is proud to show them in her tiny Salon at her small home.
One of the biggest problems Sana’ faces is the continuous shootings in the area conducted by the army centered on the towers near her home, southeast Deir Al-Balah.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Every morning when I train, I fear that one of the bullets will hit me, always when I run next to the sea, I have to run and stay alert and cautiousÃ¢â‚¬Â, Sana’ said.
During curfews, invasions and exchange of fire, Sana’ goes to a sand area near the Police station and trains for two hours, but this area is filled with stones and thistle, which caused her injuries several times.
She added: Ã¢â‚¬Å“I suffer and will suffer more, but I have to achieve my dreamÃ¢â‚¬Â¦my goal, and I have to achieve something, even if it was small and present it to my family, my sick father and my country, I have a dream to raise the flag of my country among flags of other nationsÃ¢â‚¬Â¦Ã¢â‚¬Â
Runner Abdul-Salam Al-Dibji participated in Asian championship. 2002, and Ã¢â‚¬Å“BussanÃ¢â‚¬Â championship in Korea, 2002, Tounisia, 2003, and several events in Jordan , France, Algeria .
Swimmer Raed Oweisat participated in several championships and events in Palestine and achieved advanced positions.
Palestinian athletes face several hardships under the current situation in the Palestinian areas, since there are no athletic halls and areas with international standards, in addition to the absence of financial aide to the athletes and sports clubs in order to provide the athletes with the needed materials for training.
Another obstacle which the athletes face is the military camps and closure imposed on the Palestinian areas which limits their abilities move around and travel for training in Palestine and the neighboring Arab countries.