In a historic achievement, the Egyptian national men’s team was able to win the 2021 Junior and Cadet Fencing World Championship which is taking place in Cairo. Egypt beat Russia in the final for the gold medal.
Russia took the silver and France the bronze.
Egypt had blown away the United States, the world No 1, 45-31 in the semi-final round. The Egyptian juniors are ranked fifth in the world and comprise Mazen Al-Arabi, Eyad Marouf, Adham Moataz and Zeyad Nofal.
Russia, third in the world, had edged France 45-42.
Egypt made it to the final after beating Hong Kong 45-32 in the round of 16, then upended Poland 45-37 in the quarter-finals.
The women’s junior team finished in 12th place, trounced by Spain 45-25.
The championship is taking place from 3-11 April at the Indoor Halls Complex of Cairo International Stadium, located in Nasr City. Eighteen individual and team events totalling 1,079 competitors representing 80 countries in addition to Egypt, the host, are participating in three disciplines.
The event is taking place under updated Covid-19 protocols adopted by the Fédération Internationale d’Escrime (FIE), the international governing body of Olympic fencing. The FIE competitions have developed to ensure the safety, health and well-being of athletes, coaches, officials, referees and staff, after extensive preparations of operations and logistics. These new procedures affect virtually every aspect of participation in the event throughout its duration and associated travel, with the goal of significantly reducing the probability of Covid-19 exposure.
WRESTLERS GOING TO TOKYO
In the African wrestling qualifications in Tunisia, Egypt made it to the Tokyo 2021 Olympics, collecting several medals along the way. In the freestyle event, both Hussein Reda and Diaa Gamaleddin collected gold medals in the 74kg and the over 125kg. Three other bronze medals were garnered by Ismail Fathi, Khaled Masoud and Hossam Merghani in the 86kg, 65kg and 97kg.
In the women’s division, Samar Hamza bagged the gold medal after beating Tunisia’s Zaineb Sghaier in the 76kg while teammate Inas Mustafa took the silver in the 68kg and Nada Medani the bronze in the 50kg weight categories.
In the Graeco Roman event, Haitham Mahmoud, Mohamed Mustafa and Abdel-Latif Mohamed snared the gold in 60kg, 87kg and 130kg weight categories while teammates Wael Hamdi and Mohamed Ali captured the bronze in the 77kg and 97kg weight divisions.
*A version of this article appears in print in the 8 April, 2021 edition of Al-Ahram Weekly