The 16th Asian Games were hosted by Guangzhou, China on 12-27 November this year.
Current (interim) flag of Iraq. Source: Wikimedia Commons.
It has been announced that the Iraqi Olympic Committee handed over a financial reward worth 15 million Iraqi dinars (an equivalent of approximately 12,800 US dollars) to the silver medalist, his coach, and his sport federation each. The reward for the bronze medalists with their coaches and federations was 10 million Iraqi dinars (approximately 8,500 US dollars) to each.
But, both the athletes and the Iraqi Olympic Committee president have voiced some disappointment in their statements to a Radio Free Iraq reporter.
The Committee president, Ra’d Hamody (Library of Congress, or LoC, simplified transcription: Ra’d Hammudi; Arabic: رعد حمودي), said the medals should have been more. “In general, we are not satisfied with the results,” Hamody told Radio Free Iraq.
Having won silver in men’s 800-metre-distance run, Adnan Taees Akkar (LoC transcription: Adnan Tu’ayyis Akkar; Arabic: عدنان طعيس عكار) said: “When I had made it to this medal at the Asian Games, many Arab brothers have congratulated us on this success. (…) When we had returned to the homeland, we did not find or see such a great and high interest on the part of sport officials. We did not receive any welcome. There was a very simple welcome by one official person, the public relations director of the Olympic Committee. Frankly, we are very disappointed.”
Among the rewarded athletes was men’s single sculler Haeidr Hamarasheid who told Radio Free Iraq: “Of course, every athlete is happy to be rewarded for a success. It is not just the material reward but a moral award as well. It is a momentum for other athletes to get to this high level, win medals, and raise the name of Iraq. I wish that other bodies also value this success because it did not come easily, I can say. It was not an easy medal. It was (earned) after a big effort, and at Asian Games that are held every four years. I spent much individual effort to get my medal. I wish that there is more interest from the authorities in charge.”
(Language and biographical note: The LoC transcription of Hamarasheid's name is Haydar Hamah Rashid; Arabic: حيدر حمه رشيد, Kurdish: Heyder Hemereşîd / حه یده ر حمھ ڕه شيد. Inside Iraq, Hamarasheid is known as Haidar Nozad – LoC transcription: Haydar Nawzad, Arabic: حيدر نوزاد, Kurdish: Heyder Nozad / حه یده ر نۆزاد).