Gaza runner Bahaa Al-Farra treads carefully, braving the elements and potholed roads ravaged by years of conflict between Palestinian militants and the Israeli army, as he prepares to race at the London Olympics. The 19-year-old trains for three hours a day in Gaza’s Yarmouk soccer stadium, along the dusty streets and on the beach in well worn trainers that were donated to the Palestine Olympic Committee by wealthy Gulf state, Qatar. Palestinian athletes complain of a paucity of financial support at home and a lack of vital equipment and coaches that are crucial for success and to nurture talented youth, but by competing in London, a national dream will be realised. The Palestinian flag first flew at the Olympics in Atlanta in 1996 when one athlete took part, Sydney 2000 welcomed two competitors and three went to Athens in 2004. All got a roaring welcome, but it was for participation rather than achievement.