Thursday,23 May, 2019
Current issue | Issue 1311, (8 - 21 September 2016)
Thursday,23 May, 2019
Issue 1311, (8 - 21 September 2016)

Ahram Weekly

Celebrating the bride

In an extravagant bash, Shooting Club feted Hedaya Malak, winner of the 2016 Rio taekwondo bronze medal. Inas Mazhar attended the celebrations

Hedaya Malak (Taekwondo)
Hedaya Malak (Taekwondo)
Al-Ahram Weekly

Hedaya Malak was the bride of the day and her club gave her a rousing reception after the 23-year-old left the Rio Olympics with a bronze medal in taekwondo.

Shooting Club President Amr Al-Said and his board members hosted an unprecedented ceremony which consisted of a long aisle that stretched from the main gate to the main stage where Malak walked in the middle surrounded by 11 other athletes who also represented the club in various sports in Rio. Malak and her teammates were wearing the official outfit of the Egyptian delegation at the Games as they marched to a band playing music for the traditional zaffa, the path for newlyweds walking down the aisle.

The club’s members and junior athletes cheered Hedaya and her teammates as they stood on both sides of the aisle.

The Olympic champion was all smiles as fireworks set off around her and the crowd applauded until the athletes reached the stage where top sports officials, dignitaries and the club’s famous athletes were waiting.

On the stage Al-Said, congratulated Malak, the first Egyptian female to win an Olympic medal in the martial arts, for her achievement and for “bringing glory to the club. Now, the club has started reaping the fruits of what it spent during the past 20 years in sports which has reached LE2 billion. Hedaya’s medal will be a turning point in the history of the club, one of the biggest and most famous social and sports clubs in Egypt.”

Al-Said added that the club owns the best sports infrastructure and facilities among Egyptian sports clubs with a huge number of sports participants in all kinds of sports and the biggest sports academies among sports clubs.

“With 11 athletes representing the club at the Rio Olympic Games, Shooting Club made history by sending the most participants of any Egyptian club in any Olympic Games. We are proud of all of them, especially Malak, who joined the club at the age of 12 and was nurtured here until she became the world’s No 3 in the sport and now an Olympic champion. She has made us proud,” Al-Said said.

It was Malak’s turn to speak to the audience. She thanked the club’s officials for holding what she termed a legendary ceremony, as well as all those who came to share the moment with her. “I dedicate this medal to my family, club members, friends and my club’s coach Wa’el Mahran and my Spanish national team coaches Alonso and Julsha. “The road to the Olympic podium is very hard and to reach it and win an Olympic medal needs a huge effort in addition to self-confidence. This achievement will drive me to fight very hard for another Olympic medal in Tokyo 2020, hopefully a gold. This is my main goal right now.”

In appreciation of her victory, the club sealed the celebrations by presenting Malak a free car. Then, the club hosted a gala dinner event in honour of the champion, attended by top sports officials from the Ministry of Sports, president and board members of the Egyptian Olympic Committee and board members of the Shooting Club.

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