Long journey to gold

Tuesday 7 May 2024

Al-Sissi, Al-Sayed
Al-Sissi and Al-Sayed

 

Egyptian saber fencer Ziad Al-Sissi won Egypt’s first gold medal at the Fencing Grand Prix which took place in South Korea from 4 to 6 May.

World No 2 Al-Sissi beat Sandro Bazadze of Georgia 15-13 in the final to clinch the gold.

The 29-year-old Egyptian had an impressive journey in Seoul to the top of the podium. In the first round, he beat the Japanese Hayato Tsubo (15-10) before posting an easy victory against the Italian Mattia Rea (15-5) in the round of 16.

He then overcame Frenchman Jean-Philippe Patrice (15-11) before passing another Frenchman Sebastien Patrice, world No 10 (15-8) in the quarter-final.

He had a very close encounter against the young American Filip Dolegiewicz whom he narrowly beat 15-14 in the semi-final.

Teammate Adham Bahgat finished eighth in the final ranking after losing in the quarter-finals to American Colin Heathcock 14-15.

Meanwhile, Al-Sissi is preparing to compete in the 2024 Paris Olympic Games, scheduled to be held from 23 July to 11 August. This will be his second participation in the Olympic Games after Tokyo 2020 where he finished 14th in the individual saber event.

On the other hand, Egypt’s Mohamed Al-Sayed clinched the bronze medal in the Epee Fencing Grand Prix held in Colombia from 3 to 6 May. The three-day event saw the participation of elite fencers who competed in the event as part of their preparations for the Paris Games in a new Grand Prix returning to Colombia.

According to the International Olympic Committee website, “while the qualification race for the Olympic Games will have concluded, athletes will continue to strive for peak performance by competing against one another, improving their skills for the Olympics”.

 


* A version of this article appears in print in the 9 May, 2024 edition of Al-Ahram Weekly

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