Friday,22 February, 2019
Current issue | Issue 1372, (7 - 13 December 2017)
Friday,22 February, 2019
Issue 1372, (7 - 13 December 2017)

Ahram Weekly

Behold the gold

Egyptian Mohamed Ihab bags three historic gold medals at the World Weightlifting Championships in the US, reports Inas Mazhar


Egyptian Olympic bronze medalists Mohamed Ihab and Sara Samir triumphed at the World Weightlifting Championships held in Anaheim, California, in the US.

Ihab, third place winner of the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, won an astonishing three gold medals, becoming the first athlete from Africa to win in a men’s event in the World Championships since 1984 when Orok Oliver of Nigeria won the snatch gold in the 100kg category.

Interestingly, Ihab won his bronze Olympic medal with the same total of 361kg as that of Oliver. He took away the gold in Asia – winning the 77kg bodyweight category, in 2011.

“Winning gold at the World Championships was a dream for me,” Ihab said on his Facebook page after receiving his gold medals.

“But now it has become a reality in the USA. I am so happy to win those three medals and feel so proud to become the first Arab and African to achieve such an accomplishment in this weight category. This victory has not only given me three gold medals to be added to my record, but has put me on top of the rankings of my weight category, which is for me another accomplishment in its own.

“I feel so blessed and I dedicate this victory to my late father who was the main reason I took on weightlifting and was my greatest supporter. I am sure he would have been proud if he was here but I am also sure his soul feels it. I also dedicate it to my mother who is always there for me. I thank my friends, my teammates, my coaches and officials as well. Everyone who has shared in my success.

“My main goal now is achieving gold medals at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo and I will be working on that,” Ihab said.


Silver medallist Rejepov Rejepbay of Turkmenistan ended 9kg behind Ihab. He won all three available medals while America’s 17-year-old Harrison Maurus set a new youth world record and six new American records, winning bronze medals in the snatch and total, ending Team USA men’s 20-year-long medal drought at the World Championships.

In the snatch, Maurus went two for three, lifting 150kg, then 155kg. He missed his final attempt at 159kg. In the clean & jerk, he made both of his attempts. He first lifted 187kg then 193kg, setting a new youth world record. Maurus broke his own youth world record of 192kg that he set when he won the 2017 Youth World Championships on 8 April in Bangkok, Thailand.

“It’s not only cool to get the medals, but to get into the history books,” Maurus said. “It gives other athletes something to strive for.”

Captari Dumitru (ROU) won bronze in the snatch but bombed out in the clean and jerk so couldn’t secure a total.

On the other hand, Samir claimed a gold medal in the clean and jerk 69kg weight category after lifting 136kg. She failed in all her three attempts in the snatch. Samir was also a bronze medalist at the 2016 Olympic Games. It is the first time an Egyptian female weightlifter wins a gold medal at the World Championships in the country’s history.

Just like Ihab, Samir is very ambitious and is keeping an eye on the Olympic Games in Tokyo in 2020. “This time, it should be the Olympic gold,” she said.

The World Weightlifting Championships kicked off earlier this week in Anaheim which was all ready to welcome the world – and for nearly 400 athletes, the dream of a golden winter in California became closer than ever, with emerging names and nations set to challenge the established order at the International Weightlifting Federation’s World Championships.

Athletes from 72 countries went to Anaheim, and several were defending Olympic champions from last year’s Rio Games, including Lasha Talakhadze, Sohrab Moradi, Sopita Tanasan, Hsu Shu-ching, Sukanya Srisurat and Kianoush Rostami.

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