Champions never quit, Ray Bassil will be in Tokyo 2020!

08 Aug. 2016 -Yesterday, we had three athletes competing. Ray Bassil in Shooting Trap, Gabriella Doueihi in Swimming 400m Freestyle and Richard Merjan in Canoe Salom.

After 36 years without Olympic Medals, we all hoped to see Ray Bassil win a medal here in Rio de Janeiro at the 31st Summer Olympic Games.

Shooting is an individual sport that is not popular in Lebanon. Despite not being able to win  any medals, Ray did something we never saw in Lebanon! On twitter, “Ray Bassil” became a trend! People went crazy on social media, everyone followed her and especially as she said, people were interested in sports, not in politics or negative things.

The weather was very unstable in the arena, the first three groups didn’t have any problems, but when it came to the fourth group, Ray Bassil’s group, the wind started blowing very hard which affected her performance.

Asking Ray about it, she explained that shooting is a mental sport, you can easily get distracted. Focus is key in this kind of sports especially in big events like the Olympics. After having one of the best years in her career, she was ready for Rio, but unfortunately  some mistakes costed her a place in the semi-final.

In the following year her eyes will be on the World Cup final, where only the best 12 shooters in the world will be competing.

Asking her about Tokyo, she mentioned that shooting is a very expensive sport. Imagine that a shotgun costs around 10,000$. Crazy! She prepared and invested very well in those past 4 years of her life, it will be difficult to do it again but she will definitely be in Tokyo!

We waited for 36 years, can’t we wait for 40?

The pressure that Ray went through was huge, but she managed very well and turned her stress into a motivation but it wasn’t easy. Seeing all her country standing for her and waiting impatiently for her results was something no one has ever seen in a Lebanese individual sport and she had the courage to handle it.

Ray Bassil really wanted to win a medal for Lebanon, for everyone who supported her, she promised to come back home with an Olympic Medal, and insists on letting everyone know how much she loves her country and its people.

Continuing with yesterday’s results, Gabriella, who is the youngest Lebanese athlete in this delegation, swam the 400m freestyle in 4:31.20. Her best time is 4:28 but she was really happy to swim at the Olympics and she is definitely taking it as an experience and preparation for the next one.

Richard Merjan finished 19th in the Canoe Slalom, the athlete who lives and trains in Australia, is the first Lebanese we see in such an event and made it to his first Olympics raising the flag in a very ideal way. He clocked a cumulative time of 2:00.20.

We wish the athletes a great stay in Rio, looking forward to the result of our beloved team, have fun performing at the Olympic Games!