|Al-Ahram Weekly Online
13 - 19 September 2001
|Published in Cairo by AL-AHRAM established in 1875||Current issue | Previous issue | Site map|
Over and aboveBy the end of the seventh day of the Mediterranean Games, Egypt had already surpassed expectations. Inas Mazhar writes on a promise kept
Before the start of the Mediterranean Games in Tunisia, the Egyptian National Olympic Committee (NOC) promised its athletes would return with 23 medals. It was wrong -- but it's not complaining.
ALL TIED UP: Flaying legs and arms on the wrestling mat and sluggers go toe-to-toe in the Mediterranean Games
After seven days Egypt had amassed 29 medals -- four gold, 12 silver and 13 bronze. Even more surprising, there was still one week to go before the Games conclude. Still further, the medals were accrued from only five events; five more disciplines which Egypt entered have yet to be played.
To be sure, the Egyptian medal tally is far below pace-setter Turkey with 26 gold, nine silver and nine bronze for 44 medals. But the collection surpasses the 1997 haul in Bari of 20 medals, evidence that the athletes are being pointed in the right direction.
In just one sport, wrestling, seven medals were garnered, three more than what was projected. Two gold in the Graeco-Roman were won by Karam Gaber and Mohamed Abdel-Fatah. Three silver medals went to Mohamed Abul Ela and Yosria Borhami in Graeco-Roman and Hisham Abdel-Wahab in freestyle.
Boxers took double the medals they had anticipated. They had predicted two but ended up pocketing four -- two gold by Saleh Abdel-Bari and Ramadan Abdel-Ghaffar, one silver by Mohamed Abdel-Rehim and one bronze by Ahmed Ismail.
As is so often the case, weightlifting was Egypt's biggest winner, bagging 11 medals. Eight was the guess before the Games. Surprisingly, no gold was to be had in this, one of Egypt's premier events. Silver medals were won by Mohamed Osman, Madiha Abdel-Moneim, Mohamed Tantawi, Mohamed Mousa El-Deeb and Hani Mahmoud while Mohamed Osman, Yusri Shalali and Ahmed Hussein and Nagham Ramadan took bronze.
The gymnastics federation had the modest goal of just a medal but ended up with two. Gymnast gold medallist in 1997, Raouf Abdel-Kerim, settled this time for a bronze, as did teammate Walid El-Dourini.
By the beginning of week two, Egypt had added five more medals in karate, two silver from Ahmed El-Sayed in the 75kg category and Doaa Abdel-Aziz in 60kg. Three bronze were won by Ashraf Fenoun in 65kg, Heba Ali in the under-50kg and Mohamed El-Shimi in 70kg.
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