Gold medalist Feryal Abdelaziz of Egypt poses during the medal ceremony for women s kumite 61kg karate at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Saturday, Aug. 7, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan. AP
Karateka Feryal Abdelaziz gave Egypt its first gold medal at the Olympics since 2004 when she defeated Azerbaijan's Irina Zaretska in the final of the +61kg category on Saturday.
Abdelaziz prevailed 2-0 to make history on karate's first Olympic appearance, with Egypt taking its medal haul at the Tokyo Games to six -- one gold in karate, one silver in modern pentathlon, two bronze in taekwondo, one bronze in wrestling and one bronze in karate.
The 22-year-old is the first Egyptian Olympian to win gold since wrestler Karam Gaber, who triumphed in the men's Greco-Roman 96kg at the 2004 Athens Games. She is also the first Egyptian female to win an Olympic gold medal in history.
"This is the least thing that I can give to Egypt ... this is the best moment of my entire life," she told beIN Sports.
Abdelaziz reached the final after securing a 5-4 victory over Kazakhstan's Sofya Berultseva in a nail-biting semi-final.
She held onto its narrow lead despite losing a Senshu advantage in the final minute.
Abdelaziz earlier played out a 0-0 draw against Algeria's Lamya Matoub in her final game of the elimination round Group B to reach the semifinal and ensure a new medal for Egypt.
"This is the outcome of an exhausting four-year hard work. It was a stiff psychological pressure but finally this is for Egypt," Abdelaziz said after the game
Abdelaziz beat China's Li Gong 4-0 in the first game before winning by Senshu (3-3) against Elena Quirici of Switzerland in the second game. She then lost her only game, falling 9-7 to Iran's Hamideh Abbasali.
"I want to thank all who stood by me, especially my mother. The tournament is not over yet and we will meet again in the final," she added.
On Friday, Egyptian karateka Giana Farouk claimed the bronze medal of the women's kumite -61kg after losing by Hantei 1-1 to the 2019 Asian Champion and 2018 World Championship silver medalist Xiaoyan Yin of China in the semifinals.
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