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Mon 25 Aug 2008 11:44 PM

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Mubarak questions Egypt's failure in Beijing

177-strong Egyptian delegation produces single bronze medal in judo.

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak on Monday demanded to know why his country's athletes failed to win more than a single bronze medal at the Olympics in China, the official MENA agency reported.

The 80-year-old ruler "ordered the formation of a fact-finding committee to assess the bad performance of the Egyptian mission to the Beijing Olympic Games that wrapped up on Sunday," MENA reported.

"The committee will be in charge of determining who is responsible for the Egyptian mission's bad performance and calling them into account.

"Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif decided to form the committee led by Minister of State for Legal Affairs and Parliamentary Affairs Mufid Shehab, to compare the results of the team's performance with its targeted goals," MENA said.

Egypt sent a 177-strong delegation to Beijing, but only judoka Hesham Mesbah won a medal for his country, coming away with a bronze.

Egypt ranked joint bottom of the medals table alongside Afghanistan, Israel, Mauritius, Moldova, Togo and Venezuela.

The weak showing contrasts with the country's five-medal haul at the Athens 2004 Games, including a wrestling gold, and silver and bronze in boxing and taekwondo.

That success, however, had ended a 20-year medal drought stretching back to the 1984 Los Angeles Games.

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