Egypt's boxer Bakr shoulders hopes of evoking 2004 Olympic memories

Ahram Online , Tuesday 9 Aug 2016

Hossam Bakr
Hossam Bakr

Egypt's Hossam Bakr shoulders the country's hopes of getting its first boxing medal at the Olympics since 2004 after impressing at the World Championships in Qatar last year.

Bakr became only the third Egyptian to win a medal at the World Championships after clinching bronze with a 3-0 win over Ireland's Michael O'Reilly in Doha.

His bronze-medalist campaign sent him through to the Rio Olympic Games as the only Egyptian to qualify via the World Championship, with three compatriots advancing through the African qualification tournament in Cameroon.

Bakr will be hoping to evoke memories of a remarkable boxing campaign at the 2004 Games in Athens.

Back then, Egypt's five medals included three in boxing (one silver and two bronze) before the sport suffered a notable decline in the country, missing the hall of fame at the 2008 and 2012 editions in Beijing and London respectively.

"I'm very optimistic that I can win a medal at the Olympics," the middleweight boxer was quoted as saying by local media.

"I might be drawn against a world champion but I'm up this challenge," he added.

The 30-year-old finished fifth at the 2008 Beijing Games but was unlucky to miss the following edition in London due to illness.

Bakr also won the gold medal at 2015 African Championship in Casablanca, Morocco. 

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