Egypt's beach volleyball girls out of Rio after making Olympic history

Karim Farouk , Thursday 11 Aug 2016
Beach volleyball
Egypt's Doaa Elghobashy, center, celebrates a point with teammate Nada Meawad against Canada during a women's beach volleyball match at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Thursday, Aug. 11, 2016. (AP)

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Egypt's beach volleyball team has been eliminated from the Rio Olympic Games after conceding their third straight defeat losing to Canada 2-0 (21/12, 21/16) on Thursday.

But elimination was not the end of the story for the two Egyptian women who made history for their country by reaching the world prestigious games as a team, and they did so in style.

Doaa El-Ghobashi and Nada Moawad are not only the first ever Egyptian team to make the Olympics but they are also the first ever team not to wear the usual and famous bikini suit of beach volleyball contenders.

The duo were beneficiaries of the uniform regulations that were relaxed by the international volleyball federation before the 2012 London Games.

"I wear a hijab because I am a Muslim but it doesn't stop me feeling a part of this game," veiled El-Ghobashi told reporters after their opening game.

FIVB spokesman Richard Baker said last Sunday after watching the opening game of Doaa and Nada, who played with long sleeves but did not cover her head, "It was to open it up culturally. The goal was to allow more people to play the sport of volleyball."

The Egyptian duo, who claimed the first African beachvolleyball title for Egypt despite being ranked 13th before the tournament, received a huge support from the Brazilian fans who kept on chanting their names and "Egypt, Egypt, Egypt" throughout the games.

"It's really cool to have all these different countries in Rio and today Egypt needed our support," said Hudson Heluy a Rio restaurant owner.

"We were very proud to play in front of such a great crowd. I'm proud to be seen raising the Egyptian flag in a carnival with so many nations," El-Ghobashi concluded.

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