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Fourth-Place Medal

Egyptian wrestlers show up too late to wrestle, forfeit matches

Maggie Hendricks
Fourth-Place Medal

Saleh Emara in 2009. (Getty)

Two wrestlers from Egypt forfeited their matches on Sunday when they didn't show up in time. Abdou Omar Abdou Ahmed missed his 66kg first-round match and Saleh Emera missed his 96kg match, unaware that Sunday's schedule started at 8:30 a.m.

[ Photos: Awkward wrestling moments ]

All week, wrestling started at 1 p.m. in London. However, because of the Closing Ceremony, the last three weight classes to be wrestled at freestyle were started earlier. The Egyptians showed up to the arena late, saying, "every day one-o'clock." But it was too late. They were out. One of the wrestlers reportedly fell to his knees crying when he learned the news.

The schedule for wrestling has been posted for months. Every other wrestler, official, media member, coach, volunteer and fan at the ExCeL arena knew to show up early.

[ Video: Check out U.S. track star Allyson Felix's intense workout ]

The worst part of this is that the biggest victim of Egypt's negligence is the wrestlers themselves. When an athlete comes to the Olympics, the only thing he or she should be worried about is competing. Details like schedules, tickets, meals and media requests should be handled by coaches and national organizing committees. Though neither wrestler was favored for gold, it's heartbreaking that they didn't even get the chance.

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