There are two rules every athlete at the 2012 London Olympics had to follow — don’t do drugs — don’t be late for your start time. Apparently two wrestlers from Egypt did not get the memo about that second rule. The two men showed up late for their matches on Sunday afternoon, forcing an automatic disqualification.
Abdou Omar Abdou Ahmed missed his start time in the 66kg first-round match and Saleh Emera missed the start time for his 96kg match. The men were unaware that the Sunday matches started at 8:30am instead of the 1PM start times they dealt with all week long during previous wrestling matches.
The early morning time was chosen to correspond with the Olympics’ closing ceremony which pushed afternoon events into the early morning hours.
One of the Egyptian wrestlers dropped to his knees and cried as he learned about the disqualification, proclaiming after his mistakes “every day one-o’clock.”
Neither one of the men were expected to medal but the shock of the forfeiture still left them with questions and heartbreak.
While competitors should be well aware of their event starting times those schedules are usually monitored by coaching staff, the respective Olympic committees for each event and other members of the Olympic team. It is unclear at this time where the confusion over the day’s start times originated.
The Egyptian men were the only members of the wrestling community to show up late to the Sunday morning matches. Other early arrivals included coaches, media members, volunteers and Wrestling fans.