Saturday,27 May, 2017
Current issue | Issue 1342, (27 April - 3 May 2017)
Saturday,27 May, 2017
Issue 1342, (27 April - 3 May 2017)

Ahram Weekly

Triple crown

Ahly’s handballers made history this year by winning three continental championships

Ahly’s handball team
Ahly’s handball team

In Agadir, Morocco, Egypt’s Red Devils beat Tunisia’s Hammammat 31-22 in the final of the Africa Cup Winners Cup. The Egyptians dominated the competition from the beginning, showing spectators their top form, experience and excellence.

To reach the final, Ahly had no problem beating the home team Wedad Samara 33-18 in the semi-final. Thanks to the high level performance of coach Assem Hammad’s men, Ahly controlled the game amidst the enthusiastic support of the home crowd for their team. In the quarter-finals, Ahly beat Cameroon’s FAB Club 25-19.

In the preliminary round, Ahly overpowered their opponents in all three matches, beating the home town club Ragaa Agadir 28-27, Congo’s Kinshsa 37-24 and Patronage Congo 31-24.

Hammad was the happiest after winning the club’s third African title this year. The former Ahly and national team player was one of the main reasons behind the success of the team as they recaptured their glory days.

Hammad, who has been at the helm of the club for several years, has a special chemistry with his players, maintaining a strong and symbiotic relationship with the squad; firm and strict in trainings and friendly and passionate off the court. Hammad managed to bring back some key players including Islam Hassan, the team’s playmaker, who left a professional career abroad. Another key player was Amr Al-Qalyoubi, who together with Hassan have formed a strong one-two punch.

Two other players, Yehia Al-Drea and Abou Al-Fetouh Ahmed were also behind the team’s recent successes. They both joined the Cairo giants on loan from their clubs Heliopolis and Smouha and quickly meshed in with their new teammates.  

The African Cup Winners Cup was the third continental trophy for Ahly after victories in the African Champions League and the African Super Cup during the past two months. Thus, Ahly became the only club ever to combine all three major African competitions and as such qualified to the International Handball Federation’s IHF Clubs Super Globe Cup scheduled at the end of the year.

The African Super Cup was the most important victory for Ahly as it came at the expense of their arch downtown rivals Zamalek. The Red Devils outclassed the White Castle in the final, a huge incentive for the players to continue their winning streak and claim the third title to prove to their traditional opponents that they were the real kings of the sport.

Minister of Youth and Sports Khaled Abdel-Aziz congratulated the club’s management for their achievement and thanked club president Mahmoud Taher for their other recent victories in basketball and volleyball in the national league and cup this season, which only underlines the club’s long-term planning and strategy.

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