Silver Jumper

Abu Dhabi-based The National profiles Kamal Bahamdan, member of Saudi Arabia’s bronze winning equestrian team at the London Olympics:

He had a financial background but he wanted to study engineering to satisfy his passion for science and to improve his problem-solving abilities as a businessman. Asked why Saudi Arabia has been at the forefront of showjumping among Gulf states, he said: “We started early and the first participation in the Olympics was in 1996 and two years before we were in the Asian Games.

“We started with a very good group of young, talented riders. The second generation of the riders picked up from where we left with the same motivation and have excelled at the international level. Once again, it is the hard work.

Their win was a surprise, but some questions were raised over how much money was spent on the team which included the King’s grandson Prince Abdullah bin Miteb. Reports in local media said that the cost of that win has reached $49 million.