Tuesday,24 October, 2017
Current issue | Issue 1286, (10 - 16 March 2016)
Tuesday,24 October, 2017
Issue 1286, (10 - 16 March 2016)

Ahram Weekly

Two summer tickets

Two more Egyptians qualified to the Olympics, capping an eventful Egyptian sports week worldwide, Inas Mazhar reports

Abdel-Gawad
Abdel-Gawad
Al-Ahram Weekly

Swimmer Ali Khalfallah won the bronze medal in the 50 metres freestyle at the 2016 Arena Pro Series in Orlando in the US. The Egyptian clocked 22.25 seconds to break Egypt’s record of 22.56 set in 1995 and his own record of 22.75 seconds. The third place finish allowed Khalfallah to book himself a place in next summer’s Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

President of the Egyptian Swimming Federation Yasser Idris sang the praises of the swimmer, his coach and family. “Ali did it all by himself. He fought hard to book himself a place in the Olympics. He just took on competitions in the US where he studies. His coach was always by his side, taking him from one race to another until he broke both the Egyptian record and his own as well,” Idris said.

Hammer thrower Hassan Abdel-Gawad also made it to the Olympics after a throw of 78.35 metres at the African Championships in South Africa.

Meanwhile, modern pentathlon youngsters outclassed their opponents in England’s U-18 Youth Modern Pentathlon Championships by winning first place. The eight-athlete Egyptian team claimed five medals — two gold, a silver and two bronze in the 10-nation annual event. Salma Ayman claimed the girls event gold whereas the girls took the bronze in the team event with a squad comprising Mariam Amer, Nada Diaa and Ayman.

Ahmed Ossama captured the silver medal in the boys event and Alyeddin Sherif clinched the bronze medal. In the team event, Osama, Sherif and Mohanad Tarek took the gold medal.

President of the Modern Pentathlon Federation Sherif Al-Erian said the athletes were Egypt’s future champions in the sport. “They are our Olympic hopes. Born 2000 and below. A job well done, winning the British Open for under 18 although they are all still under 16. It looks very promising for Egypt in the modern pentathlon for the next Youth Olympics in Argentina 2018,” Al-Erian said.

In squash, the Egyptian duo of Mohamed Al-Shorbagi, the men’s world number 1 and women’s world number 3 Raneem Al-Welili triumphed in their respective title-deciders at the 2016 Windy City Open, the fifth PSA World Series Tournament of the 2015/16 season. With equal prize money on offer it was double-delight for Egypt as Al-Welili overcame compatriot Nour Al-Sherbini to win her first PSA World Tour title since September 2015. Al-Shorbagi collected his fourth consecutive World Series crown after opponent Nick Mathew, the English world no 3, was forced to retire in the third game of their encounter due to injury.

The Egyptians also maintained their supremacy by appearing in the world’s top rankings in both men and women recently released by the World Squash Federation. Al-Shorbagi came out on top as the world’s top ranked player on a list which also included four other Egyptians among the top 10. Omar Mossad, Rami Ashour, Tarek Moemen and Karim Abdel-Gawad were placed from fifth to eighth.

Five Egyptian women also made it in the world’s top 10. Al-Welili was ranked third while Al-Sherbini and Omneya Abdel-Kawi came fifth and sixth. Nourhan Gohar placed eight while Nour Al-Tayeb came in ninth.

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