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Sunday, 25 August 2019

Wrestling: Gold drought broken

Wrestler Mohamed Al-Sayed became the first Egyptian in 12 years to win a gold medal at the World Championships

Inas Mazhar , Thursday 22 Nov 2018
Gold drought broken
Wrestler Mohamed Al-Sayed
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Finally, the Egyptian Wrestling Federation managed to produce another world champion, Mohamed Al-Sayed, who won the Under-23 world title at 67kg in Greco-Roman on Wednesday night in Bucharest, Romania. The achievement comes after more than a barren decade void of gold for Egypt, and the first in any age group, in any style of wrestling, Greco or Free.

The last Egyptian world champion was Mohamed Ibrahim Abdel-Fattah, better known as Bougi, who won a gold medal at the 2006 Senior World Championships in Greco-Roman at 84kg. The nation’s mighty wrestler Karam Gaber won gold at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games, followed by a silver at the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

Al-Sayed had a remarkable run to the gold medal. At the break, the Egyptian held a 2-0 lead over 2012 cadet world champion Karim Jafarov of Azerbaijan. From there, Al-Sayed kept piling on the points, eventually shutting out his opponent for an 8-0 technical fall. The Egyptian’s superb style in all his encounters captured the admiration of the sport’s experts and fans. The bronze medals of the event went to both Otto Losonczi of Hungary and Russia’s Alen Mirzoyan.

Al-Sayed wasn’t the only Egyptian who made it to the podium in the World Championships. Another promising youngster took a bronze medal in the 82kg weight category. African champion Ahmed Hassan beat Iran’s Mahdi Ibrahimi 5-4 to take third place. The gold and the silver medals went to Georgia’s Gela Bolkvdze and Nicu Ojog of Romania.
To no-one’s surprise, Hassan has been showing rapid progress in the past couple of years. He is after all a nephew of Olympic champion Gaber. Wrestling experts have an eye on the youngster and believe he could soon follow in his uncle’s footsteps.

In the women’s competition, Egypt’s Samar Hamza claimed fifth place at the -72kg event after losing to China’s Juan Wang. Hamza had beaten Russia’s Zackhrechenko 12-0 in the preliminaries to qualify for the quarter-finals.

Egypt took part in the World Championships with five wrestlers in several weight categories. The gold and bronze medals equalled 62 points in total which helped the country finish in seventh place. Egypt’s wrestlers also has a fifth and 10th place finish.

In the team race, Georgia ran away with the title thanks to its three world champions who collected 126 points. Russia was second, putting 101 points on the board. Rounding out the top five was Turkey, Japan and Azerbaijan.

(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports.)

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