Thursday,19 October, 2017
Current issue | Issue 1312, (22-28 September 2016)
Thursday,19 October, 2017
Issue 1312, (22-28 September 2016)

Ahram Weekly

Paralympians make their mark

Egypt’s Paralympic team returned with 12 medals and finished a commendable 30th place in Rio, reports Abeer Anwar

volleyballers
volleyballers
Al-Ahram Weekly

Egypt finished its Rio Paralympic journey with a total of 12 medals: three gold, five silver and four bronze. It came 30th out of 83 countries which had taken at least a medal.

With the Games drawing to an end, China was leading with 239 medals, 107 of them gold. Great Britain was in second with 147 medals, Ukraine 117 and the US 115.

Egypt’s first gold medal was won by Sherif Osman in the -59kg powerlifting category after lifting 203kg, 13kg more than his British opponent Aly Jawad, the previous world champion in the 59kg category, who finished in second place with a 190kg lift, while China’s Quanxi Yang secured the bronze medal with a 176kg effort.

Osman set a new world and Paralympic record breaking his own two records after lifting 211kg in the fourth trial, to be nicknamed “the boss”. “I feel I am in a dream. It is unbelievable and I feel I’m in the middle of the road because I have a very big dream to win six gold medals in six Paralympic Games,” Osman told the media. “It’s an amazing feeling and I must thank all of Brazil for their support.”

In the women’s +86kg, Egypt’s Randa Mahmoud comfortably won her nation’s second gold medal of the powerlifting competition.

Mahmoud cleared 130kg to take the top spot on the podium from Jordan’s Tharwah Alhajaj who produced 119kg with the final attempt for silver, with Mexico claiming the bronze thanks to a 117kg final round effort from Catalina Diaz-Vilchis. The Egyptian returned to the stage in her fourth attempt to lift 137kg. Mahmoud was delighted to come away with gold after back-to-back silver medals at Beijing 2008 and London 2012. “I am very happy to get the gold medal today and it makes me even happier to see the Egyptian flag as the highest flag,” she said. “I have to thank everyone who helped and prayed for me including my coach and friends who helped me get the gold. When I cleared 125kg with my first attempt, I was almost certain to get the gold, but I wanted to keep fighting to beat the record.”

Mahmoud said she will now look to have a break for the next two or three months before determining how she prepares for the future. “I might stay in the same category or I might go up and still try to break the Paralympic record and world record,” she added.

In the men’s + 97kg Mohamed Al-Deeb won the third gold medal for Egypt clearing 237kg with his final attempt.

Al-Deeb was inches off adding to his own world record with a fourth attempt at 244kg, which was dismissed by the referees.

China’s Dong Qi took home silver with a lift of 233kg, while Mexican Jose de Jesus Castillo finished in the bronze medal position thanks to a 229kg effort.

Although he was unable to match Al-Deeb, Dong was delighted to win his third consecutive Paralympic medal. “It takes a lot of sacrifice to get at this maximum level for us Paralympic athletes,” he said. “I’m satisfied with the work that I had put in getting this result. I knew it would be very hard and is why I have worked hard and trained harshly to reach my target.”

Egypt’s Mustafa Fathallah won his country’s first medal in athletics, winning silver in the men’s 100m T37 category, a category for ambulant athletes with cerebral palsy. Fathallah, 29, finished in 11.54 seconds. South Africa’s Charl Du Toit won the gold, with an 11.45 finish, while South Africa’s Fanie Van Der Merwe came in third place just milliseconds slower than Fathallah.

Egypt’s Rehab Ahmed kicked off the day with a silver-medal winning effort in the women’s 50kg powerlifting event. In what was a very close competition, Ukraine’s Lidiaa Soloviova set a new Paralympic record by clearing 107kg, while Ahmed came in second with a 104kg lift and Vietnam’s Thi Linh Puhong Dang in third place with a 102kg effort.

Fatma Omar added to Egypt’s powerlifting successes a silver in the women’s 61kg event. Though the 42-year-old powerlifter failed on her first lift, she succeeded in her second and third attempts, lifting 133kg and 140kg respectively. Nigeria’s Lucy Ejike narrowly won the gold medal with a 142kg effort, while China’s Yan Yang came in third place with a 128kg effort. Omar previously won four gold medals at the Paralympic Games in London, Beijing, Athens and Sydney.

In the -107kg weight category, Mohamed Al-Sayed Ahmed took the silver medal after succeeding in lifting 233kg. He was followed by teammate Amr Farouk in the +107kg who was able to lift 235kg for the silver medal as well.

Meanwhile, Amal Mahmoud, appearing in the women’s 67kg event, won a bronze medal with a 108kg effort in her second attempt. The success marked Mahmoud’s third Paralympic medal, having previously won a bronze at the London 2012 Paralympic Games and a silver in Beijing’s 2008 Paralympic Games.

Teammate Amani Al-Desouki collected the bronze medal in the 73kg carrying 127kg.

The fourth bronze medal for Egypt came in sitting volleyball after the team beat host Brazil for the third place playoffs 3-2 with sets 28-26, 29-31, 19-25, 25-22 and 15-13.

In the men’s 65kg powerlifting event, Egypt’s Shaaban Ibrahim secured a bronze medal. Ibrahim, 40, came third with a 193kg effort after Nigeria’s Paul Kehinde, who lifted 220kg, and China’s Peng Hu, who managed a 200kg effort. Ibrahim previously appeared at four Paralympic Games, but this marks his first medal.

Egypt’s Rio haul was not nearly as good as before. In the 1992 Barcelona Paralympics, Egypt collected 20 medals: seven gold, six silver and seven bronze. In the 1996 Atlanta Paralympics, Egypt won 30 medals: eight gold, 11 silver and 11 bronze. In the 2000 Sydney Paralympics, Egypt got 28 medals: six gold, 12 silver and 10 bronze. In the 2004 Athens Paralympics the country garnered 24 medals: seven gold, nine silver and eight bronze. In the 2008 Beijing, Egypt went home with a total of 12 medals: four gold, four silver and four bronze. In London 2012, Egypt bagged 15 medals: four gold, four silver and seven bronze.

Only one Egyptian athlete out of the eight who participated in track and field in Rio won a medal, while its two swimmers and table tennis players could not deliver.

Still, Hayat Khattab, president of the Egyptian Paralympic Committee, was glad. “I am very happy with our athletes’ performance. They did their best. The competitions have become very hard after two or even more categories in one competition were added. We participated with 44 athletes and we collected 12 medals and I think this is a real achievement.”

 Khaled Abdel-Aziz, the minister of youth and sports, congratulated the Paralympic delegation for their achievement in a phone call and promised to present them with their bonuses during a big ceremony after their return, “same as the Rio Olympians”. In the Rio Olympics, Egypt won three medals, all bronze.

The Paralympic Games is a major international multi-sport event involving athletes with a range of physical and intellectual disabilities. The Rio Paralympics were held from 7-18 September.

Below are mini-profiles of Egypt’s Paralympic winners:

Sherif Othman: 34

Osman began his powerlifting career in 2005 and has won several gold medals at various powerlifting championships across the world. In 2006, he won the silver medal in the world championship in South Korea, then first place in the world championships in 2010, 2014 and 2016. He won the gold medal in the Arab Championship held in Cairo 2007. He also won two gold medals in the Beijing 2008 and London 2012 Paralympic Games. He won three gold medals in the Fazaa Championship, the Khorfakkan Championship in 2011 and the 2015 African Games in Congo Brazzaville.



Randa Tageddin: 28

Beijing Paralympic Games 2008: silver medal

London Paralympic Games 2012: silver medal

World Championships 2006, 2010 and 2014: 2 gold and one silver

Afro-Asian 2005: silver medal

Arab Games 2007: gold medal

African Championship: gold medal

World Cup 2016: gold medal



Mohamed Al-Deeb: 37

London Paralympic Games 2012: gold medal

World Championships 2010, 2016: silver and gold

World Cup Championship 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2016: 2 silver and 2 gold

African Championship 2009: gold medal

African Games 2015: gold medal



Fatma Omar: 43

Sydney Paralympic Games 2000: gold medal

Athens Paralympic Games 2004: gold medal

Beijing Paralympic Games 2008: gold medal

London Paralympic Games 2012: gold medal

World Championships 1998 and 2006: 2 gold medals

African Championship 2010: gold medal

World Cup Championship 2016:  gold medal



Rehab Ahmed: 25

World Cup 2013, 2015 and 2016: 3 gold medals

European Open 2015: bronze medal



Mohamed Al-Sayed: 34

Arab Games 2007: silver medal

African Championship 2009: silver medal

African Games 2015: bronze medal

World Cup 2016: silver medal



Amr Farouk: 24

Europe Open 2015: silver medal

World Cup 2016: silver medal



Amal Mahmoud: 38

Beijing Games 2008: silver medal

London Games 2012: bronze medal

World Championships 2006, 2010 and 2014: 2silver and 1 bronze

World Cup 2010 and 2012 and 2016: 2 gold medals and 1 silver

Arab Games 2007: gold medal

African Games 2010: gold medal



Amani Ibrahim: 37

World Championships 2006, 2010 and 2014: 2 silver and 1 gold

World Cup 2011 and 2016: 2 silver medals

African Championship 2010: gold medal

Arab Games 2007: gold medal



Shaaban Al-Desouki:  41

Sydney Paralympic Games 2000: silver medal

Athens Paralympic Games 2004: gold medal

Beijing Paralympic Games 2008: gold medal

London Paralympic Games 2012: bronze medal

World Championships 2002, 2006, 2010 and 2014: 1 gold, 1 silver and 2 bronze

Arab Games 2007: gold medal

African Championship 2009: gold medal

World Cup 2010, 2011 and 2016: 2 gold and 1 silver



Mustafa Fathallah: 29

World Cup 2011 and 2012: 2 gold and 1 silver

African Games 2011: 1 silver and 1 bronze

World Championship 2011: 1 gold

 

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