Saturday,23 February, 2019
Current issue | Issue 1383, (1 - 7 March 2018)
Saturday,23 February, 2019
Issue 1383, (1 - 7 March 2018)

Ahram Weekly

Precious medals

Host Egypt did not disappoint at a world taekwondo tournament in Alexandria, reports Abeer Anwar


Reda with her medal among teammates
Reda with her medal among teammates

The Egypt Taekwondo Championship is the highest ranked World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) open tournament with a G2 rating. Thus, being hosted by the Olympic Club in Alexandria from 24-25 February under the auspices of Prime Minister Sherif Ismail was an achievement in itself. The open’s entrants were Italy, Austria, Canada, Croatia, Germany, Guadeloupe, Kazakhstan, Mali, Netherlands, Portugal, Russia, San Marino, Serbia, Vietnam, Bulgaria, Turkey, Belgium, Cape Verde, France, Greece, Iraq, Jordan, Latvia, Moldova, Panama, Puerto Rico, Rwanda, Senegal, Switzerland, Tunisia, the US, Britain, Georgia, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Niger, Cote d’Ivoire and Bulgaria in addition to Egypt, the host country.

But Egypt did more than just provide a venue for the event. Egyptian Mohamed Farag, 17, was the first to win a gold medal in the under 58kg after overcoming his opponent from Moldova, Sergi Eskov, 19-17. “I am very happy as it is the first time to participate in the Egypt Open and this is considered a precious medal,” Farag said. “I was down two points but with enthusiasm and insistence I was able to win. I consider this medal my first step.”

Farag started participating in international championships in 2014 when he took part in the World Cadet Championship under 14 and won a bronze medal followed by gold in the Arab Championship for Juniors. In 2015, Farag collected the gold medal in the Jordanian Youth Championship. He took part in the Youth World Championship in 2016 and the Men’s World Championship 2017 but was unable to take home a medal even though he performed well in both events.

Radwa Reda added Egypt’s second medal and the first silver in the 67kg category, losing in the final to Turkey’s Hatees Cobra 13-5.

“I am very happy to be back on stage after being away from the scene for a long time,” Reda said. “I am very glad that I overcame the Croatian player Nikita Glasnovitch who is the world bronze medalist in my weight, 8-7.”

Reda added that her next target is to amass the largest number of points to improve her African and international ranking as she will participate in the African championship G4 and the President Championship which give 40 and 20 points respectively to the gold medal winner.

Mennatallah Medhat added a bronze medal in the -49kg weight category after losing to Kazakhstan player Eno Yesberjenova 3-13. Mohamed Ayman added the second bronze in the +87 after losing in the semi-final to his Jordanian opponent Hamza Qatan 16-13.

Amr Selim, head of the Egyptian Taekwondo Federation, thanked all those who gave a helping hand to make the Egypt Open a “marvelous event, an unforgettable one.

“It is a great moment to see that we made it and hosted 39 countries at the same time in such a professional way,” Selim said. “I am also very happy with the Egyptian team’s performance and what has been achieved.”

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