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Olympics: One foot in Tokyo

Al-Ahram Weekly Editorial , Thursday 22 Nov 2018
One foot in Tokyo
Egypt’s taekwondo champion Hedaya Malak

Egypt’s taekwondo champion Hedaya Malak maintained her remarkable comeback after injury to win the gold medal at the 14th Taekwondo French Open G2 held in Paris over the weekend and inch closer to a spot in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

The Egyptian Olympic bronze medalist at the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro beat Croatia’s Matea Jelic for the gold at the -67kg weight category. Two bronze medals went to Gabon’s Urgence Mouega and France’s Althea Laurin.

Malak, who won a bronze medal at the Croatia Open last week, had an impressive route to the final. It took the Egyptian four matches to reach the final during which she overpowered her opponents from the first round. The beginning was beating Monaco’s Marine Puntunet, then Belgium’s Oumnia Dakkon in the second round, followed by Austria’s Ruth Hock in the third to qualify for the semi-finals. At that stage she defeated Gabon’s Urgence Mouega before winning the final after the withdrawal of her opponent Croatia’s Jelic.

With the victory, the Olympic medalist has just about secured a place at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games after collecting more than 40 points, the minimum number required for a year.

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