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Egyptians to watch in the Olympics – Part II
Here’s the second and final part of KingFut’s feature about Egyptians to watch in the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
The fencer is no stranger to the Olympics as he won one of two Egypt’s silver medals in the 2012 Olympics in London, the other medalist being Karam Gaber.
Aboulkassem achieved a gigantic surprise by becoming the first Egyptian and African to win a fencing medal at the Olympics. He gave Egyptians something to cheer passionately for as he was very close to gold before being defeated by China’s Sheng Leii 15-13 after injuring his arm.
The 25-year-old will potentially lead the Egyptian delegation as the flagbearer in the opening ceremony. He’s ranked ninth in the FIE foil rankings and has recently won two gold medals in the 2015 Brazzaville African games in the individual as well as team foil categories.
The Alexandrian fencer is surely carrying Egyptian hopes on his shoulders and will look for another medal in his second straight Olympic games.
The Egyptian judoka has participated in the 2012 Olympics in London, but has lost in the round of 32 against France’s Thierry Fabre in the 100 kg Men’s competition.
Darwish is looking to do better in the 2016 Olympics as he’s garnered massive experience after managing an impressive feat of winning gold at both the 2015 Budapest Grand Prix and this year’s African Championship held in Tunisia. Not only has he won those two gold medals, he also defeated Brazilian judoka Correa Luciano in the final of the European Judo Open held in Sofia, Bulgaria and won the gold medal.
The 28-year-old was ranked number two in the IJF rankings in 2009 after winning a bronze medal at the 2009 World Championships in Rotterdam. His medal cabinet also includes gold from winning the 2009 Grand Prix in Qingdao and the 2014 edition in Tashkent. Darwish also won two gold medals in the 2009 and 2013 Mediterranean Games in Pescara and Mersin, respectively.
Amro, Emad and Omar El-Geziry are Egypt’s modern pentathlon triple threat brothers; with both Amro and Omar participating in this year’s Olympics and Emad being a veteran of the 2000 Olympics in Sydney.
Amro is a two-time Olympian veteran having participated in the 2008 and 2012 editions while finishing 32nd and 33rd respectively. This year he’s looking to turn it around and achieve a better ranking after being spurred on by his impressive gold medal win in the first edition of the World Cup held in Cairo this year making him the first Egyptian to achieve that.
The 30-year-old qualified for the Olympics due to being ranked fourth in the UIPM World Rankings and is looking to be a serious medal contender in the modern pentathlon competitions. Since his last Olympic participation, Amro has moved his training camp to the United States, thus highly improving his training regimens. His hard work and determination has surely paid off in dividends after winning a silver medal in the 2014 World Cup and gold in 2016.
Hedaya is an up-and-coming Taekwondo starlet with huge hopes resting on her shoulders of achieving an Olympic medal this year. She participated in the 2012 Olympics when she was just 19 years of age and lost 6-8 against eventual bronze medalist Marlene Harnois in the quarterfinals.
The 23-year-old has recently won the gold medal in the 2015 World Taekwondo Grand Prix in the -57 kg category (lightweight). She had an impressive tournament to say the least after beating 2012 Olympic gold medalist Jade Jones in the semifinals.
The sparkling teenager qualified automatically to the Olympics due to being ranked third in the WTF World and Olympic Rankings in the -57 category. Hedaya is a strong candidate to win gold in this year’s Olympics and is surely on course of emulating Tamer Bayoumi’s Taekwondo achievement of winning the bronze medal in the 2004 Olympics in Athens.
Sara is already a weightlifting Olympic gold medalist after impressively winning in the 2014 Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China. She carved her name up in history books after being the first Egyptian female to win an Olympic gold medal after fantastically lifting 103 kg in the snatch and 125 kg in the clean and jerk in the 63 kg category.
The 18-year-old prodigy has an already impressive set of achievements after managing two gold medals in the 2013 and 2015 Youth World Championships as well as winning another gold medal in the 2015 Junior World Championships. She qualified for the Olympics in the -69 category after coming sixth in the IWF World Championships in Houston, USA by lifting 110 kg in snatch and 135 kg in the clean and jerk in the 69 kg category.
Other than that, she’s been named the best weightlifter in the 2012 African Youth and Junior Championships in Tunisia after winning gold medal. She also won a bronze medal in the 63 kg category at the 2013 XVII Mediterranean Games in Mersin, Turkey.
Sara is a great candidate for winning a medal in Rio even at such a young age and she’s surely an athlete we should be keeping our eyes on. Even if she didn’t end up on the podium, she’s still got time on her hands for other competitions as she’s still very young and still hasn’t hit her prime weightlifting age yet.