Iraqi Olympic shooter Noor Aamer Jassim was barred on Tuesday from taking her equipment onto a plane from Baghdad to Dubai on her way to compete in the London Games, an Iraqi official told AFP.
“The Emirates crew refused to allow Noor Aamer take her pistol with her or for it to be sent separately from Baghdad to Dubai, because it was not on the permitted possessions list authorised by Emirati authorities,” said Yusuf Khoshaba, public relations chief for the Iraqi Olympic Committee.
After the pistol was confiscated, the 18-year-old boarded the flight and travelled with the rest of the Iraqi Olympic delegation bound for Dubai.
Emirati authorities later gave the green light for the pistol to be transported to Dubai by plane on Wednesday, and pledged that it would arrive safely in London, Khoshaba said.
Iraq is sending an eight-member team to the Olympics, consisting of five men and three women, and comprised of two runners, a swimmer, an archer, a shooter, a boxer, a weightlifter and a wrestler.
The athletes have had to cope with poor infrastructure and sports facilities in Iraq, and pitted against better-equipped and better-trained athletes, their chances of winning medals appear slim.
Iraq has historically fared poorly at the Olympics. Its sole medal came during the 1960 Rome Games when Abdul Wahid Aziz won a bronze in men’s lightweight weightlifting.