Hellloooo GOLD!

Bahraini Ramzi wins the 1500 Gold in the Beijing Olympics
Bahraini Ramzi wins the 1500 Gold in the Beijing Olympics

Ramzi storms to 1500m gold medal
Bahrain’s Rashid Ramzi held off Kenya’s Asbel Kiprop down the final straight to win gold in the men’s 1500m.

Ramzi hit the front with 200m to go and although Kiprop, who set the pace for the first two laps, burst clear of the pack he could not hunt Ramzi down.

Nicholas Willis of New Zealand came third while Great Britain’s Andrew Baddeley finished well off the pace.

Baddeley said: “I made the right move and was in the right place at the bell but couldn’t do any more.”
BBC News

Yay, well done!


  1. Lee Ann

    Huh! What happened…I took my eyes of the tv for just a few hours…damn I miss all the good stuff.

    Congrats btw…I imagine hes gonna get a welcome home never seen before in Bahrain…cant wait…lol. :mrgreen:

  2. Anon- 4 ever

    The guy is so Moroccan dude, but at least he brought something to the country! I’ve seen him live, i was impressed. Lets hope Roqaya can make it against the Jamaicans! I am waiting to see her getting a medal!

  3. BuZain

    Did anybody notice how he pushed the other {Bahraini} runner who was in front of him in the last lap? What was that about?

  4. heraish

    Yes there was a push. It seems that the other Bahraini was setting the pace for Ramzi. So he gave him the signal that he can ease up now. The Bahraini’s were basically running as a team not as individuals. The pace maker does usually get paid well for his sacrifice.

    Great job to the runner, the team, the coaches and the government authorities for organizing the whole thing.

  5. Mr.hassain Ali

    He is not Bahraini
    He is Moroccan
    Just a ploy,, We wish to see real progress Bahraini gold medal in the coming years :mrgreen:

  6. Hamad

    Congrats, although as a Bahraini dont see a reason to be proud. Ramzi was born and raised in Morocco and as a professional will run for whoever pays him the most. And theres nothing wrong with that…

    Now if Roqaya wins that would be something! 😛

  7. Post

    Come on guys. No country can live in its own envelope, otherwise it will just be an inbred isolated community.

    Your objections are misplaced. I have no problem naturalising “worthy” people to this country who could positively contribute to its economy, sports, education, culture, etc.

    Your objections should be levelled at the contentious political naturalisation policy. Learn to differentiate.

  8. Salman Rahma

    I have no problem naturalising “worthy” people to this country who could positively contribute to its economy, sports, education, culture, etc.

    This is true and I totally agree with you in this. But ‘importing’ ‘Bahrainies’ should work at least in the same line with supporting ‘local’, original Bahrainies.
    Did they spend 1/4 (1/10?) of the money spent on Ramzi on Roqaya?
    What makes ‘people’ of Bahrain’ upset is that they see the money spent on others and they see the care and respect given to others while they do not get Any of that while they know they can achieve the same if not more.

    Come on guys, why should the New Bahraini be sent to Europe for training while the Old Bahraini need to report to work everyday till the last day and steal time to train in local, not-well-equipped facilities?

    And is Bahrain really searching for “worthy” people who could “positively contribute in its sports”? check what the officials say: (arabic)

  9. Salman Rahma

    edit: link corrected.


    ps. Mahmood,is there a way to allow poster to ‘preview’ the post before sending? and is it possible to allow poster to ‘edit’ his/her post after sending? at least for 5 minutes. to correct mistakes and errors.. Thank you

  10. dims

    the guy who held the American flag -which btw is a great honor- during the opening ceremony was a Sudanese that became an American only 13 months ago..Americans were so proud of their country’s diversity and celebrated it …not even one American athlete said something about him not deserving being an American.
    more than half the American athletic team were NOT BORN in the states

    and on ignoring other Bahraini talents..well if they were as good as ramzi or algasra they would have been sent away for training as well..algasra is a “PURE” BAHRAIN -don’t agree with the term btw- and got all the attention so if u have the talent they will take care of u!
    I’m not saying Bahrain is perfect but come on don’t be such a party booer!

    and ramzi got us a gold medal and we still call him the Moroccan guy?

    whats wrong with being a Bahraini national from Moroccan origins? Nothing
    Arnold schawrtzneger is the governor of California and he still can’t speak English properly!!!

    wake up and smell the 7alwa guys!!!

  11. heraish

    Let him marry a real Bahrainia and then his kids who he can train will be half so called Real Bahraini. Due to relative ease of living in the country and lack of resources it is unlikely the locals can achieve such great heights. Unless Bahrain unites with Qatar for sporting reasons the resources wont be there. Also you spend money to make money. This is a great method to market the country. Nobody knows about Bahrain. Now many people will be at least exposed to the country and may come to visit and spend some money at institutions where the so called real Bahraini works at. Due to deft planning Bahrain pulled a Gold outsmarting Qatar, USA, Russia, Kenya, Morrocco, Algeria and Saudi where there is tons more money and human resources. This is definitely a achievement.

  12. Hisham

    God, people, I can’t believe you’d stoop so low as to indicate he’s born and bred in Morocco and therefore is not a true, well-dusted, Bahraini. That’s just rubbish pipsqueaking.

    The guy holds a Bahraini passport, having had it granted to him by virtue of his exceptional abilities. Now that’s a good thing in my book.

    Still, I see where some of you fret, though my advise to you is to chill out a little and find solace in the fact that perhaps some forward thinking member of the sports community in Bahrain is actually going to bootstrap born and bred Bahraini’s with Ramzi’s skill and have them be just as good, if not better, than him in the near future (ya hear that, Mr. Government?)

    Anyway, congrats to Ramzi and to Bahrain and all Bahrainis (bar the bigots, who wouldn’t want to be congratulated anyway).

    I for one, welcome our new Moroccan born and bred, Bahraini running overlords.

  13. Ratfink

    Best gold money could buy.
    Cheap cynicism aside, I just hope that this fantastic achievement, and I do consider it a great achievement, means that more money and publicity is put into sport in the kingdom. I listened to the race on the BBC and felt proud that Bahrain had achieved an Olympic gold.
    Please let this translate into real facilities for the youth to train in whatever sport they choose. Who remembers the hurdler who did very well in the 80’s? Where is he now? I think it’s very remiss that Bahrain does not salute its achievers on the sports field and put much more effort and cash into the training.
    Just my 2 fils.

  14. Post
  15. Post

    What nationality are you? The new world of Olympic gold-hunting


    In fact, the Beijing Olympics have seen more athletes competing under flags different from the ones under which they were born. It is a world trend that this is happening and it is a clear indication that sport, like everything else, is transcending borders.

  16. Khalid

    To Mr Hassain Ali. Does it make any difference if he is Moroccan or not? He is Bahraini now, holds a Bahraini nationality and has represented Bahrain, not Morocco, in the Olympics. Almost three quarters of competitors representing the US and other Western nations come from Africa and Eastern Europe, they never mention where they ‘orginaly’ come from, and they do not have to. Congrats to Ramzi and to the Bahraini nation for the Gold. I have not seen it, so if anyone has the video please upload it.

  17. Ann (MobayDP)

    I saw this race last night and remembered this blog. Congrats to Bahrain!! 😉

    Dims & Khalid, Several Jamaican born athletes have represented the United States and Canada. And the US & CAnada accept them as their own, no questions asked…until they are found to be doping or they get in trouble otherwise with the law or some such thing. Then all of a sudden we start to hear that they are Jamaican born.

    Some of our athletes over the years have moved to other countries, trained there and choose to represent Jamaica at the Olympics. Melaine Walker (400m gold winner today) is an example. We don’t care where they live or where they were born. Whether they win or they lose we cheer our hearts out for them as long as they’re wearing that Black Gold and Green! 😀

  18. Sam

    Why stop at the Olympics? We might as well go the whole 9 yards and naturalize the entire Chelsea squad and call it a “Bahraini” team!

    I find it ironic when I hear of nations that specifically and selectively naturalize foreign nationals to increase their chances of bringing home gold then ask people not “politicize” the Olympic games!

  19. heraish

    Naturalizing all of chelsea would be prohibitively expensive. Plus do the chelsea players even want to play for Bahrain? That’s why deft planning and execution is necessary. i.e. some brain power has been used here. Which makes the achievement even more impressive. As governments in the region are often accused of doing non-sensical stuff. Lagat the two time kenyan olympian did not even qualify for the final of the 1500 m finals even though he had changed nationality to the usa nationality.

  20. Starkville

    For once I disagree with Mahmood – I’m with you Sam.

    There is something which ‘just isn’t cricket’ about the naturalisation of foreign athletes purely in pursuit of Gold, and the money offered by nations to already noteworthy African athletes would be better invested in their own facilities and own youth, a strategy which may take longer to yield results but is ultimately more satisfying and sustainable.

    I was pleased to see someone in a Bahraini vest cross the line first – but let’s face it, if you take an athlete from another country, who then does the vast majority of his training in European and Asian camps, and spends little time in his new ‘home’ how can you really claim the achievement as your own? Is the taste of victory really so sweet if your competitor couldn’t distinguish between Muharraq and Sakhir on a map?

    The idea of the Olympics is the best from your country against the best from the others. When you are triumphant then your own youth can be inspired that an athlete from the same beginnings as them – who perhaps went to the same school, trained in the same gyms or streets – has attained success at the highest level. Doesn’t quite work when you are plucked from another nation and have a new flag slapped upon your chest to order.

    I don’t think the parallel with the American-Sudanese athelete is particularly relevant in this instance – I believe he fled conflict and then once in the US some years later displayed an aptitude at athletics. Not the same thing as granting someone nationality purely so they can boost your sporting hopes at all.

    I sincerely wish the Gulf states well on their journey towards greater participation in international sporting events. But investing their millions in academies etc a la Australia is the way to go – to this sports fan the snapping up of atheletes from other country’s leaves a nasty taste in the mouth.

    I wonder how Morocco feels to see one of their athletes win Gold for another nation?

  21. Post

    There is something which ‘just isn’t cricket’ about the naturalisation of foreign athletes purely in pursuit of Gold

    Thanks Starkville. I can see your point of view and respect it. Another person brought this home in wondering why there weren’t people out in the streets celebrating the win, why no car parades and horns? After all, it was the first Olympic gold this country has ever received!

    I feel sorry that Ruqaya didn’t come through, but am immensely proud of her reaching the semi-final stages.

    Hopefully she will inspire others to emulate her success.

  22. kz


    I watched this guy running till the end and I’m very sure he’s giving all out for his country, BAHRAIN.

    As far as i know, this guy is a BAHRAINI whom has won a gold medal for BAHRAIN 😎

    congratulation again

    MTV’s reader

  23. heraish

    “I wonder how Morocco feels to see one of their athletes win Gold for another nation?”

    If Morrocco was’nt a disfunctional country he would be running for them. That says a lot for Bahrain that someone would want to become its citizen and run for them. This is not only due to their wealth but also due to the relative safety in the country. Hopefully that remains the case in the future.

    As far as no celebrations etc. Sometimes the government needs to take a stand and do what is correct for the promotion of the country even if the majority of the populace does not approve. Plus it does not make sense that there are so many border controls between brotherly nations.

  24. Jett

    You people are so f’ing sad. I was born in Bahrain but if I had the God given talent to make it to the Olympics I would of won as an American. I would never of let them make an issue of where I was born. I would be there as a representative of the country I live in. Makes no difference where your born fools.

    You represent the name on the front of the uniform not your country of origin.

    Goes to show you how backward you freaking people are. Someday some of you might join the rest of us in the 21st century but it doesn’t look promising.

  25. Post

    It’s debatable whether there’s anything the IOC can do. If a country wants to grant somebody naturalized citizenship in the name of a faster 4×100 relay, nobody can stop them.

    J.R. Holden, who is from Pittsburgh, plays for Russia’s men’s basketball team (and also CSKA). Armenian wrestler Ara Abrahamian competed for Sweden. Rashid Ramzi won the 1500 for Bahrain, then pronounced: “I am Moroccan.

    I wonder, if this is true, that he will now not get the promised $80,000 from GOYS and the various high-value presents from the King, PM and CP?

    …or more importantly, does he still get to keep his passport?

  26. Joker

    Ramzi is a superb athlete no doubt. On the other hand, can anyone guess what the budget for the national basketball association is? A grand sum of 70,000 BD that includes the whole season, training camps (if any), referees participating abroad.. the works! Can you imagine what a fraction this amount is to the millions spent on the childish horse races and naturalizing runners?

    Btw the national basketball team had to pull out of championships coz they can’t afford to compete

  27. Sam

    This is what it boils down to.

    When the great sporting nations of the world rake in gold, silver, and bronze, they were earned medals. The winnings being testimony to the fact that they have, as a nation, appreciated the importance of sports as an industry, and the wider societal contribution it makes, harnessing teamwork and competitiveness etc. It’s testimony to their inward domestic investment in training and development of their athletes and facilities and their hard work in doing so has certainly paid off.

    Bahrain’s gold medal on the other hand I believe was simply purchased, not earned.

  28. Um Naief

    I was so excited to hear this, altho missed seeing it myself!! 🙁

    Today I watched some races and saw a Bahraini woman running, but she didn’t win. She was in the lead for a bit, but the Kenyan took top spot and wound up winning, w/ the Bahraini coming in 5th or something.

  29. Joel Portman

    At the othyer end of the distance scale, remember my comment
    from 5th April last year

    “Also, watch the career of the 20-year-old Kenyan runner who for the third time set a world half-marathon record – 58 minutes 35 seconds!”

    well, he – Sammy Wanjiru – just won the marathon gold!

  30. Rasheed

    I think it’s great that Rashid Ramzi won a Gold medal for Bahrain. Other Gulf countries should do the same and selectively import good athletic talent and grant them citizenship to win medals for them at international sporting events.

  31. Bung

    Ok, now what? The olympics are over. Rashid Ramzi won a gold for Bahrain. Will we now see him passing his expertise to the next generation? Will we see him inspiring the youth to get out and do more sport? Or will he disappear to the States or Europe to carry on training and living?
    Does anyone know, or care? Hey, he fulfilled his contract, he got a gold.
    If you want to see how the world views this ‘buying of talent’, you should have heard the BBC commentators in the 1500m final. They noted the Kenyans, Ethiopians, the Briton and the ‘former Kenyan’ running for Bahrain. They seemed to have problems calling him a Bahraini. I think that sets the tone for this sort of thing.
    To me, the competition should be between people who grew up in the country that they are competing for. That they are part of the community, even if they weren’t born there. There should be at least SOME connection with the country rather than just a Dinar paycheck. Pardon my cynism.
    Good that the Kingdom got a gold though.

  32. Sam

    Bung I agree with you. That’s why nobody seemed too bothered because most people had never seen or even heard of our “Bahraini” atheletes. They werent in the papers months before the games, we saw no build up or training or how the team were preparing for the games. Most of them arent even resident in the country!

  33. heraish

    They should offer citizenship to Hussain Taher Al Saba, the long jumper. He was born in Dhahran, Saudi next door and is a solid athlete and a exuberant personality. He may even be Shia, not sure about that. If anyone knows let us know. I am not sectarian oriented, just curious on the one hand and on the other hand it may get the locals more excited about track and field.

  34. Post

    it may get the locals more excited about track and field

    That’s quite a statement there. Thanks very much for thinking for us locals even to the minute level of deciphering our psyche and sectarian leanings. I mean, God forbid that we should even consider supporting an athlete “from the other group” now can we?

    You’re some mean piece of work arencha?

  35. heraish

    “They werent in the papers months before the games, we saw no build up or training or how the team were preparing for the games.”

    I do agree with this. There should be more PR. The athletes should give interviews and they should also be required to take Arabic/cultural classes etc. in return for the government support. They should also be made to commit to working with the youth of the country as well so that their skills will be transferred.

  36. janum

    you carzy??!! have you ever heard that the bahraini government gave citizenship to a foreign shia? I guess your missing the point here? they would give passports to iranian sunnis russian christians and ethiopian jews BUT NOT TO SHIAS..they want to make shias a minority not increase their numbers or status with gold medals.. the government is probably celebrating right now that roqaya alghasra didnt get a medal..i am not exaggerating there are officials who are happay that a shia did not win! bahraini shias are an inconvenient reality to them…

    as much as mahmood wants to live in denial the bahraini government is sectarian to the root.. the last time shias were given passports is when the then new king with his fresh so called democratic reforms finally relieved the suffering of the “persian ghettos” who were living in cardboard houses and dumps for decades in bahrain with no citizenship or any kind of official status or benefits(a foreign indian worker had a better status than they did!).. and then the door was closed whether ur an arab shia or a pakistani shia a nobody or an olympic gold medallist…the fact you’re shia means that you cannot get bahraini citizenship as long this goverment (and you know who) is in power…

  37. heraish

    If any group feels aggrieved at the unfair citizenship policies they should ask their representatives to come up with a uniform policy on citizenship that applies to all. And everyone should have a shot at getting it, whether it is bidoon, the indentured indian servant or a star athlete. The representitves of the said aggrieved groups both inside parliament and outside parliament advocate the revoking the citizenships of other long time residents that are not from their sect and/or national origin. If you want justice for your group fight for justice for all people.

  38. Sam

    Oh Janum….. the heartache!!!

    Got a ceiling fan? Here’s some rope 🙂

  39. heraish

    “…Stephen Cherono, a Kenyan, won the 3,000 metres steeplechase having changed his name to Saif Saaeed Shaheen and switched nationality to compete for Qatar.

    Cherono was deeply unpopular with his fellow Kenyans, although his reported salary – $1,000 a month for the rest of his life, plus significant performance bonuses and endorsements – is more than most of his peers could dream of.”

    “Many of these juniors are not even obliged to move to reside in their adoptive country. They are offered a fraction of the salary of Shaheen, but their package will include a coach, physiotherapy and foreign training camps.”

    These are a couple quotes from timesonline of the uk which show that it does not cost millions to pull this off. And the return is that more people in the world get to know about your country at least.

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