Bahrain will be sending four athletes for the 2018 Summer Youth Olympic Games, scheduled to take place in Buenos Aires, Argentina, from Saturday.
Yousif Ahmed Anan, Marwa Ebrahim Al Ajooz, Maryam Mohammed Ahmed and Ali Nabeel Dawani will spearhead Bahrain in three events – athletics, tennis and weightlifting – in the two-week event.
Both Anan (men’s 400m) and Marwa (women’s 100m) will take part in athletics and Dawani is to compete in the tennis championship (men’s singles) while Maryam – who became the first Bahraini female to qualify for the games in the qualifying events held in Uzbekistan four months ago – is lined up for under-48kg weightlifting.
The Bahrain delegation, headed by Bahrain Olympic Committee board member Bader Nasser, includes athletics coach Ameera Ebrahim and tennis coach Abdulrahim Munther.
The Games will see more than 4,000 athletes, representing 206 countries from all over the globe, compete in 32 events, including for the first time at an Olympic Games: BMX freestyle, kiteboarding and beach handball.
It will also be the first Olympic Games to have an equal number of male and female participants, contributing to gender equality.
This edition will be the first Summer Youth Olympic Games to be held outside Asia – also first in the Southern and Western Hemispheres – and the first Youth Games for either summer or winter to be held outside Eurasia.
The opening ceremony will be held on Saturday at Buenos Aires’ famous obelisk in Avenida 9 de Julio.
Artistic direction will be overseen by renowned Argentine theatre company Fuerza Bruta, which has captivated international audiences with innovative shows for all the senses. Around 2,000 people will be hired to take part in the ceremony – Fuerza Bruta alone will have a team of 350.
It will also be the first Olympic opening ceremony with strict gender equality rules, with the cauldron to be lit by both a woman and a man.