Sunday,22 October, 2017
Current issue | Issue 1210, (21 - 27 August 2014)
Sunday,22 October, 2017
Issue 1210, (21 - 27 August 2014)

Ahram Weekly

Youth to make history

Within two days, the Egyptian athletes had already claimed six overall medals at the 2nd Summer Youth Olympic Games. Inas Mazhar reports from Nanjing, China

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Al-Ahram Weekly

The first three days of competition was a drought of medals for the 83 Egyptian athletes. There have been no signs for any. It was all hopes and anticipations. It was until day five of the competition when three medals were won. That day will always be remembered, especially by some athletes in particular.

It was Taekwondo’s Seif Eissa who broke the silence when he won a bronze medal in the 73 weight-category competition despite losing to Azribijan’s Said Guliyev 8-1. But according to the rules, both semi-final losers win a bronze whereas the winners play off for the gold. “It was very tough. I was unlucky with the draw which put me against two world champions,” Eissa told Al-Ahram Weekly.

But it was Egypt’s swimmer Ahmed Akram who opened the score of gold medals to the Egyptians when he won the first swimming gold medal for his team competition at the Olympic Sports Centre Natatorium. The 17-year-old well-planned strategy put him on the top step of the podium for the men’s 800m freestyle event with a time of 7:54.29. Ukraine’s Mykhailo Ramnchuk finished in 7:56.34 for the silver, leaving Henrik Christiansen of Denmark with the bronze for his time of 7:57.07.

“ I am very happy. It was a great breathtaking race. I knew I had to keep a good pace since the beginning of the race and take it slowly and then speed up with at least three laps to go for the end of the race. I am glad this tactic worked this time,” Akram told the Weekly after the race. The gold medalist, who trains in North Carolina in the USA lost the 400 meters freestyle race at the beginning of the competition despite leading the race in the first 300 meters but then failed to maintain it at the last 100 meters. He came fourth. 

“Akram’s gold medal is the first for Egypt in swimming in the history of the Games. There has only been a medal in diving but not swimming,” said Yasser Idris, president of the Egyptian Swimming Federation.

Weightlifter Sara Ahmed made history for Egypt on the same day when she became the first Egyptian woman to win a gold medal in a solo event at any Olympic Games. Ahmed had topped the standings in the women’s 63kg weightlifting. In a dominant performance the 16- year old Ahmed lifted 103kg in the snatch, well ahead of the next best lift of 94kg by Mongolia’s Ankhtsetseg Munkhjantsan. She also posted the top result in the clean and jerk, lifting 125kg for a total of 228kg. 

“I am so happy with this medal. An Olympic medal is more valuable than the World Championship gold medal. I was determined to win and so focused and trained very hard for this day. I am glad it has paid off now,” Sara told the Weekly.

Later on the day, marksman Ahmed Mohamed claimed the only silver medal so far for Egypt in the Games in the shooting event. Mohamed teamed with Xiu Yi The of Singapore in the mixed international event of the 5m air pistol. 

The following day Hadir Mekhimar of Egypt together with her colleague Istvan Peni of Hungary claimed the third gold medal in the shooting event of the 10 m air rifle mixed international teams competition. They beat the mixed international duo of Russo Fernandes and Mexico’s Valdez Martinez 3-0.

The sixth medal was scored by another weightlifter, Mohamed Shosha in the 85kg weight category.

 

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