Saturday,22 September, 2018
Current issue | Issue 1267, (22 - 28 October 2015)
Saturday,22 September, 2018
Issue 1267, (22 - 28 October 2015)

Ahram Weekly

In the Rio ring

Egypt’s Hossam Bakr became the first Egyptian boxer to qualify to the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, writes Inas Mazhar

Al-Ahram Weekly

The Egyptian claimed the bronze medal in the 75kg event at the AIBA World Boxing Championships which ended in Qatar this week. The 30-year-old Bakr beat Ireland’s Michael O’Reilly 3-0 to earn the bronze medal and qualify to the Olympics. The gold medal went to Cuba’s Arlen Lopez and the silver went to Uzbekistan’s Bektemir Melikusiev.

 It was the first-ever AIBA World Boxing Championships to be held in the Middle East which lifted the entire city of Doha on its feet over 10 days of exhilarating, non-stop entertainment, and left a lasting legacy in its wake. Inside the world-class Ali Bin Hamad Al Attiyah Arena, the capacity crowds created an atmosphere which touched the hearts of athletes and fans alike across the world.

“I am thrilled with this achievement. It has been a long season for me and I have trained very hard to reach this level,” Bakr told Al-Ahram Weekly. “The matches were very tough and I was injured in the second match against my Indian opponent but I tried to hold on until the end. I was determined to make an achievement. I am being treated now for my injury in my left side below my ribs.

“Now that I have qualified, I will start serious training in preparation for the Olympic Games in Rio. I will not take part in any championships except if it is decided that I participate in the Arab Championships.

Bakr is heading for three consecutive training camps in Serbia, France and Cuba in preparation for the Olympic Games. “The camps include the world’s best boxers who will all go there to get ready for the Games,” Bakr, the only Egyptian among eight to be selected by AIBA for the professional championship, revealed.

Yousuf Ali Al Kazim, president of the Qatar Boxing Federation and executive director of the LOC in association with the Qatar Olympic Committee, spoke proudly at the closing ceremony.

“These 10 incredible days have once again amplified Qatar’s ability to host major international sports events, and thanks to the global sports hub that is Doha and the abundance of experience that lives within the capital, we have effortlessly welcomed the global boxing elite to the state-of-the-art Ali Bin Hamad Al Attiyah Arena for this marquee event,” Al Kazim said.

AIBA President Ching-Kuo Wu declared the Doha 2015 AIBA World Boxing Championships the “best ever”. “This has been a huge step for the global development of boxing. Bringing the AIBA World Boxing Championships to the Middle East for the first time in history was really special, and it was tremendous to see the local communities in Doha coming out in their thousands to see the best boxers battle to be crowned world champions. “

The next AIBA World Boxing Championship will be held in Hamburg, Germany, in 2017.

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