Friday,15 December, 2017
Current issue | Issue 1125, 6 - 12 December 2012
Friday,15 December, 2017
Issue 1125, 6 - 12 December 2012

Ahram Weekly

Sea world

Egypt came second in the Arab Kayak Championship in Alexandria, reports Ghada Abdel-Kader

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Al-Ahram Weekly

Alexandria, Egypt’s second largest city, hosted the third edition of the Arab Kayak Championship at El-Nozha Lake in the Mediterranean city. The event, which took place from 30 November to 2 December had eight countries -- Tunisia, Algeria, Iraq, Morocco, Sudan, Palestine and Libya in addition to Egypt the host nation.
In the overall standings, Tunisia topped the table with 24 medals -- 20 gold, three silver and one bronze. Egypt finished in second place with 22 medals -- two gold, 15 silver and five bronze. Iraq finished in third place with a total of eight medals -- one gold, six silver and one bronze.
Altogether 11 male and female kayakers represented Egypt in the three-day tournament, competing in the single (K1) and in the double (K2) 200m, 500m and 1000m events. The senior team consisted of Mustafa Mansour, Ahmed Wagdi, Amr Abdel-Hamid, Mariam Mohamed and Mai El-Sawi. The junior team under 18 was Mennat-Allah Hassan, Sama Farouk, Moneim Mahran and Karim Emad, in addition to two substitutes Nour Al-Sherif and Ziad Amr.
Administrator of the Egyptian Kayak Federation (EKF) Mohamed Mahmoud said the Arab Kayak Union had organised the championship “to encourage kayaking in Arab countries.”
Executive Director of the EKF Salaheddin Yehia told Al-Ahram Weekly how the Egyptians prepared for the event. “We had two training camps, the first from 22 October to 19 November in Al-Masri Rowing Club in Cairo. The other was held before the championship in the El-Salam Olympic Centre in Alexandria.”
“EKF is trying to bring in a foreign coach but the federation’s budget is limited. So, we have to look for a second-class coach because anybody higher takes LE20,000 a month,” Mahmoud said.
“We also send prominent kayakers Mustafa Mansour and Ahmed Wagdi to training camps abroad to gain more experience,” added Mahmoud.
EKF was founded only last June. So far, its coach has been Ahmed Saber training them at Al-Masri Rowing Club.
About the EKF’s plan to increase the number of kayakers, Yehia said, “The federation formed several committees for coaches, referees, competitions and medical treatment. At the same time the EKF established five branches in Cairo, Alexandria, Ismailia, Hurghada and South Valley. Each branch has its own headquarters.”
As for the federation’s agenda for local and international tournaments, “local tournaments and national leagues started from October,” Yehia said. On the international calendar of the International Canoe Federation, the following are all on the agenda: the Canoe Sprint World cup1in Szeged, Hungary; ICF Canoe Sprint World Cup2 in Racice, the Czech Republic; the Canoe Sprint World Cup3 in Poznan, Poland; the VVII Mediterranean Games in Volos, Greece; ICF Junior and U23 Canoe Sprint World Championships in Ontario, Canada; and the ICF Canoe Sprint World Championships in Duisburg, Germany.”
“The federation had a project to establish a kayak academy in Alexandria. At that time, the now Ministry of Sports was then the National Sports Council and its chairman Emad Al-Banani adopted the idea but the project stopped after he left.
“The EKF is still in the beginning. Its financial resources are too small and limited. We don’t have media sponsors for our championships. So, we’ll postpone the plan for a while. Future plans will include creating a committee for disabled athletes in the federation,” Yehia added.

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