Preview: Egypt's Olympic medalists Malak, Abouelkassem start Tokyo challenge, handball team face World champions

Mahmoud Elassal , Sunday 25 Jul 2021

Hedaya Malak booked her place in the Tokyo Olympics in February 2020 after coming on top of a qualification tournament in Rabat, having overcome an ankle injury scare

 Hedaya Wahb Malak
Egypt s Hedaya Wahba (Blue) and France s Magda Wiet Henin (Red) compete in the taekwondo women s -67kg elimination round bout during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Makuhari Messe Hall in Tokyo on July 26, 2021. AFP

Taekwondo practitioner Hedaya Malak kicks off her 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games campaign early on Monday, when she will face off against 2019 World bronze medalist Magda Wiet Henin of France in the 67 kg Women, Round of 16.

The 28-year-old Malak is Egypt's highest profile athlete at the Tokyo games, after claiming a bronze medal at the Rio 2016 games.

Hedaya Malak booked her place in the Tokyo Olympics in February 2020, after coming in at the top of a qualification tournament in Rabat, having overcome an ankle injury scare.

"Winning a medal at the Rio Games helped me avoid facing high-profile fighters in the qualifiers," the soft-spoken Malak said.

"I target winning another medal in the Tokyo Games."

Malak faces a new challenge in Tokyo after changing her category, having moved up to -67 kg category in 2018 after seven years of playing in the -57 kg category.

Hedaya Malak kicks off her mission at 06:00 Cairo time (04:00 GMT).

In fencing, Egyptian Olympic medalist Alaaeldin Abouelkassem, who won a silver medal in the men's foil event at the 2012 London Games, will start his mission in the Tokyo Games on Monday when he competes in the individual men’s foil round of 64.

The 30-year-old Abouelkassem kicks off his mission at 02:25 Cairo time (00:25 GMT).

Egyptian Fencer Nada Hafez will start her mission in the Sabre individual women’s sabre round of 64 at 02:00 Cairo time (00:00 GMT).

Fencers Mohamed Dessouky and Mohamed Hassan will also compete in the individual men’s foil round of 64 on Monday at 02:25 Cairo time (00:25 GMT).

In handball, Egypt’s national team will face Denmark, who recently won the 2021 World Championship title, on the second matchday of Group B games in the preliminary round on Monday at 07:15 Cairo time (05:15 GMT).

The Pharaohs opened their Olympic campaign by beating Portugal 37/31 in the first of group B games last week and they are bidding to march on in the prestigious tournament by achieving a positive result against Denmark on Monday.

Egypt are second in Group B teams' ranking with two points, behind leaders Denmark, who defeated Japan 47/30 in the first matchday.

Egyptian skeet shooter Azmy Mehelba, who finished 13th in the men's skeet with 73 points on Sunday, will compete again in the qualifying round at 03:00 Cairo time (01:00 GMT).

And finally, Taekwondo fighter Seif Issa will face Jack Marton of Australia in the -80 kg men round of 16 at 03:45 Cairo time (01:45 GMT).

Check Team Egypt squad

Check Team Egypt's schedule and results

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