Egypt's weightlifter Mohamed Ihab retracts retirement, starts preparations for 2020 Tokyo Olympic

Ahram Online , Thursday 10 Oct 2019

After 24-hours of announcing his retirement, Egypt's weightlifter Mohamed Ihab retracts his decision

Mohamed Ihab

Egypt's most decorated weightlifter of all time, Mohamed Ihab, has retracted his retirement after holding talks with Sports minister Ashraf Sobhi late on Wednesday confirming he will start preparations for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic.

On Tuesday, Ihab announced his retirement after what he said he lost hope of competing in the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, following the recent suspension of the Egyptian Weightlifting Federation.

"After a meeting with Egypt's Youth and Sports minister Dr. Ashraf Sobhy and the Olympic Committee headed by Hisham Hatab, we agreed to continue preparations for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic games until completing the legal procedures to lift the suspension on Egypt," Ihab said in a statement published on his facebook account.

Early last September, Egypt's Olympics committee revealed that the country has been banned from participating in all activities of the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) for two years over an old doping case.

The ban relates to an incident in 2016 when seven Egyptian players failed doping tests during the 2016 Youth African Championships, held in Cairo.

In the wake of the ban, Egypt's participation in the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo has fallen into doubt, but the country's Olympic committee vowed to do its best and take all possible legal action to resolve the problem.

The 29-year-old, Mohamed Ihab proved himself as the best ever weightlifter in Egypt's history as he won three medals won gold, bronze and silver and finished second at the World Weightlifting Championships in Ashgabat in November.

Ihab has become Egypt's most decorated weightlifter with four gold medals, ahead of Nahla Ramadan and the late Khedr El-Touni, who won three world medals each.

His most memorable achievement was the Olympic medal, which he clinched in 2016 after lifting 165kg in the snatch and 196kg in the clean and jerk to achieve a total of 361kg in the 77kg weight category. Ihab came in third after Kazakhstan's Nijat Rahimov and Chinese Lu Xiaojun.

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