A sixth Saudi Arabian athlete has qualified for the Rio 2016 Olympics .
Long-distance runner Moukhled Al-Outaibi fulfilled the 5,000 meter race's 13:25 minute entry standard with a 13:24.97 finish. Two days before the qualification period for athletics ended on July 11, Outaibi joined the eight athletes who have already made the Saudi Arabian 2016 Olympic squad.
At 40 years old, Outaibi is the oldest Olympian on the current Saudi Arabian delegation. This will mark his third consecutive Olympic Games participation. He previously competed in the Beijing 2008 and the London 2012 Olympics, where respectively he finished sixth and ninth in the first round of the 5,000 meter races. Additionally, as the first Saudi to ever qualify to the 5,000 meter and 10,000 meter races in the same Olympic Games, he ranked 17th in the men’s 10,000 meter race at London 2012.
He has also competed in several IAAF World Championships, such as the 2006 World Indoor Championship, where he finished in eighth place. Outaibi has grabbed several Asian and Arab titles, including two Asian Games gold medals, Asian Championship and West Asian Games silver medals and a Pan Arab Games bronze.
Outaibi set his personal best 5,000 meter finish (12:58.58 minutes) back in 2005 and has not succeeded in breaking the 13-minute barrier in an IAAF event since then.
So far, the kingdom will be represented in four Olympic sports this year: athletics, shooting, judo and weightlifting. The 2014 IAAF Continental Cup bronze medalist, Yousef Masrahi, is competing in the 400 meter race, while Ali Al-Deraan, the 2007 IAAF World Youth Championship runner-up, is headed to the 800 meter. Tariq Al-Amri will join Outaibi in the 5,000 meter race, Abdullah Abkar is set to partake in the 100 meter event and Sultan Al-Dawoodi will compete in the discus throw.
Additionally, Atalla Al-Anazi will be shooting in Rio 2016, while Mohammed Hussein Dhilib will be weightlifting in the 69 kilogram category. The latter is an Asian Championship runner-up who was voted the 2012 Arab Championship’s best weightlifter after winning six gold medals. They will be accompanied by the 2011 Asian Under-17 Judo Championship bronze medalist, Sulaiman Hamad, who is poised for Rio’s 66 kilogram division.