What was your sentiment after standing on the podium to receive the Bronze medal?
I was very happy after winning the Olympic medal. Intense feelings of happiness invaded me while receiving the medal. Seeing the Egyptian flag on the podium made me delighted. I remembered all my efforts before the Olympics — my injuries. It was like a movie. I remembered also my father who passed away in 2015 before the Junior World Championships where I won three gold medals. So I dedicate this achievement to him for his help and his encouragement. I owe him a lot.
This medal is the most precious in my career. Winning an Olympic medal is a great achievement. I won a gold medal in the Junior Olympics but my mission was very easy. There was no competition at this level. I secured the gold from my first trial. It was not the case at Rio.
The competition at Rio was not easy. Can you describe it?
It was very tough. The competition was divided into two parts. The first was for the gold medal between the Chinese weightlifter Yanmei Xiang and Zhazira Zhapparkul of Kazakhstan while the second was for the Bronze between me and Yessenia Solis of Colombia.
In snatch I finished third after lifting 112 kg, two kilos more than the Colombian.
In clean and jerk I lifted 143 kg, thus Solis tried to lift 146 Kg to overcome me but she failed and I won the medal with a total of 255 kg. It was a new personal record for me. God helped me during this night.
Have you imagined that you would realise such achievement?
Sure. It was not a surprise for me. I prepared for the Olympics since years. I skipped my high school exams to prepare for this big event. With my personal records, I went to the Olympics as a medal contender. In the 2015 World Championships I was close to win a medal but I ended fourth. So winning a medal at Rio was not a surprise for me.
After Rio's achievement, what are your plans for the future?
I am only 18-years-old and I have plenty of goals and dreams to realise. My current goal is to win Gold in the coming World Championships and then Gold in the Olympics of 2020. I think I am capable of realising these goals. In the juniors level I beat the Chinese weightlifters easily, thus when I will be 22 I think that I will be capable of winning Gold at the senior level.
*This interview was originally published in Ahram Hebdo.