Tuesday,12 December, 2017
Current issue | Issue 1209, (14 - 20 August 2014)
Tuesday,12 December, 2017
Issue 1209, (14 - 20 August 2014)

Ahram Weekly

Triumphant in Europe

The Egyptian flag has fluttered for the first time in European pentathlete championship history as Egypt’s athletes secured the top medals. Ghada Abdel-Kader writes

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Al-Ahram Weekly

Egyptian modern pentathletes grabbed gold, silver and bronze medals at the European Youth B championships Under 16 in Sant Boi De Liobregat, Bracelona, Spain held from 31 June till 4 August. Sherif Rashad and Abdel-Rahman Korani snatched gold medals in the men’s relay team, while Rashad, Ahmed Shahin and Korani won bronze medals in the men’s final. Also, Haidi Adel and Ahmed Shahin took silver medals in mixed relay.  The participating countries were Great Britain, Spain, Sweden, Russia, Belarus, Hungary, Czech Republic, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Germany, Egypt, Ukraine, France and Turkey. Egypt participated with 51 men and 47 women.

Board Member of the Egyptian Modern Pentathlon Federation (EMPF) and the head of the delegation of the Egyptian team, Shereen Saleh, said the Egyptian team had participated in the European Youth A Championships from 17 to 23 July 2014 immediately before European Youth B championships. “These championships are meant for European countries, not for African countries. They allowed our athletes to compete but not to participate in the final round. Although, our athletes reached the final round, they were not allowed to compete in the final. The head of the Egyptian delegation did not succeed in securing approval for our team to participate. Our penathletes were totally frustrated.”  

According to the International Modern Pentathlon Union (UIPM) rules and regulations, continental championships may be open for athletes from other continents than the host continent. Both European Youth A and B are open championships. In this case, if the athlete belonging to a continent other than the host continent wins the competition, the continental title and the medals will be assigned to the first athlete and team from the continent.

In the men’s team final, Russians Ivan Tarasov, Andrei Zuev and Andrei Petrov won the first place with a of total 2,814 points.

Hungarian Bence Kardos, Barnabas Burcsik and Oliver Koricsanky took the second place with 2,786 points. Egyptians Sherif Rashad, Ahmed Shahin and Abdel-Rahman Korani came in the third place with 2,761 points.

“Before the beginning of the European Youth B championships, I talked to organisers of the championships in the technical meetings. I got approval that if our penathletes won the final, they will take the prize and stand on the podium,” Saleh said.

“They did not expect us to reach the final. In the first day of the competition, our penathletes won the third place in the men’s final, but they did not take any prizes or stand on the podium. I talked to them again. The next day, they reran the victory ceremony. Our team stood on the podium and took prizes,” Saleh said.

In the men’s team relay, Egyptian penathletes, Sherif Rashad and Abdel-Rahman Korani, clinched the first place with 989 points. Belarus penathletes, Ivan Khamtsou and Allaksel Valasevich, took second. Hungarian penathletes, Josh Miller and Harrison Yarnold, finished third.

In team mixed relay, Egyptian penathletes, Haidi Adel and Ahmed Shahin, took second place with a total of 934 points. Italian Penathletes, Aurora Tognetti and Matteo Cicinelli, finished in first place with 960 points, while Spanish pentathletes Aroa Freije and Marc troya came in third place with 932 points.

“In the second competition, our team clinched first place in both men’s team relay and team mixed relay,” Saleh said, smiling.

“Our penathletes went to the podium for the first time in European history. The Egyptian anthem was played and Egypt’s flag flew on their soil. It was such a memorable moment. We were so proud and happy.”

“This championship gave points in the world ranking. It was a good opportunity for our penathletes to compete on the international levels and increase their self motivation and confidence,” added Saleh.

In women’s team relay, Italians Maria Lea Lopez and Elena Micheli won the first place with a total of 865 points. Russians Anna Salazkina and Xeina Fralcova took second with 862 points. Egyptians Noureen El-Gamal and Salma Ayman finished in the 8th place with 782 points.

In individual women’s final, Spainsh penathlete, Aroa Freije, finished in the first place with 877 points. Italian Aurora Tognetti came second with 869 points.  Russian Xeina Fralcova took third with 864 points. Haidi Adel finished in the 7th place with a total of 820 points.

In the women’s final, Russians Xeina Fralcova, Irina Sukhinskaya and Ekaterian Utina won first place with a total of 2,489 points. Italian Aurora Tognetti, Elena Micheli and Maria Lea Lopez took second place with a total of 2,454 points. Belarusian penathletes, Aliaksandra Suslava, Darya Trubkina and Darya Ryzhykava, finished in the third place with a total of 2,410 points.

In individual men’s final, Italian Matteo Cicinelli finished in first place with 969 points. Hungarian Bence Kardos came second with 952 points. Great Britain’s Myles Pillage took third with 864 points. Egyptians Sherif Rashad and Ahmed Shahin finished in 9th  place and 10th  place with 936 points and 935 points respectively.

Meanwhile, Sherif Nazeir has qualified in the individual competition, while Haidi Adel has qualified in the team mix-relay at the African YOG qualification event held in Abidjan, Ivory Coast from 8 to 10 November 2013. Saleh told Al-Ahram Weekly that Egyptian junior modern pentathletes, Adel and Nazeir, traveled to Nanjing, China on Sunday. “They will compete in the Summer Youth Olympic Games (YOG) in Nanjing, China 2014. YOG Nanjing will be held from 16 to 28 August.”

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