Egyptian athlete Hamada Talat has sparked outrage after waving the Saudi Arabian flag during the Parade of Nations at the opening ceremony of the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on Friday.
On Twitter, #رجعوا_حماده (#Bring_Back_Hamada) quickly became a top-trending hashtag, with hundreds of users calling for Talat’s withdrawal from the highly anticipated tournament.
“#Bring_Back_Hamada as he does not know the value and magnitude and stature and history and culture of #Egypt,” one user tweeted.
“This is not an individual case but is an atmosphere of hypocrisy [and] cheapness,” prominent human rights lawyer Gamal Eid said, posting a picture of Talat at the opening ceremony alongside one of an Egyptian woman who gained infamy for waving the Saudi flag at a demonstration to show support for Egypt’s government earlier this year.
Talat, who plays shooting, is in Rio as part of the largest Egyptian Olympic delegation in history, with 83 men and 36 women athletes set to compete in the games. He is expected to compete in the men’s 10 meter rifle event on Monday and the men’s 50 meter rifle event on Sunday, August 14.