DUBAI: Saudi rower Husein Alireza will tomorrow conclude his Tokyo 2020 journey with an appearance in the Men’s Single Sculls Final D after finishing sixth in Thursday’s Semifinal C/D at Sea Forest Waterway.
The result means he misses out on competing in Final C and the chance of a final ranking between 13 and 18.
The 27-year-old has been racing in Japan with an injured lung that has severely hampered his performances, and Friday morning’s race (2:35 a.m. KSA) will give him the opportunity to improve his overall ranking in a contest that will decide positions 19-24 in the field of 32.
In his final race of Tokyo 2020, Alireza will be up against Onat Kazakli of Turkey, Vladislav Yakovlev of Kazakhstan, Mohammed Al-Khafaji of Iraq, Peter Purcell-Gilpin of Zimbabwe and Cris Nievarez of the Philippines.
Alireza suffered a punctured lung during an Olympic Qualification Regatta on May 5, which left him unable to train until June 22, just three weeks before he was due to land in Japan ahead of the start of the competition.
Last week, Alireza, who alongside sprinter Yasmine Al-Dabbagh carried the Saudi flag at the Tokyo 2020 opening ceremony, told Arab News that with the injury initially diagnosed to heal in no less than three months without any physical exertions, he was advised to give the Olympics a miss.
However, having insisted on taking part in a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to represent the Kingdom at the Olympics, his technical team devised a strategy that would see Alireza navigate the best path toward improving his ranking, with hopes to win a medal not in any way seen as realistic considering his handicap.