Incredibly, Egypt is looking to take the Rio Olympics by storm. With more - currently unannounced - athletes expected to compete, we compile a list of the 27 Egyptians/teams confirmed for Rio.
Egyptians seem more focused than ever to give this nation a reason to be proud, as an impressive list of athletes have already guaranteed their spot at this summer's Rio Olympics in a variety of sports. Even more encouraging is that these aren’t the only ones who will represent the nation, as Egypt has qualified athletes to participate, but has not officially announced who will be joining this amazingly talented group of athletes.
Photo Retrieved From World Judo Day (website)
Ramadan Darwish is a Judo monster – oops, we meant master – however, his dominance in the sport is something to fear. Having won the 2015 Judo Grand Prix, and finishing third in both the Judo Grand Slam and Judo World Master, his most recent win was last month at the European Judo Open. These are but a few of the wins that helped qualify his way to Rio 2016, and he will be an Egyptian force to reckon with in Rio.
Retrieved From Egypt Taekwondo National Team Facebook Page
Seham El-Sawalhy booked her ticket to Rio by reaching the finals of the African Qualification tournament held in the Moroccan city of Agadir. Although she lost her final match, she still managed to qualify for the Olympics and will represent Egypt in the under 67 kg division. This will not be her first visit to the Olympics, as el-Sawalhy qualified for the London 2012 games, where she was eliminated in the preliminary round.
Also making a return trip to the Olympics is taekwondo tactician Ghofran Zaki, competing in the under 68 kg division and earning his ticket by winning the African qualification tournament. Zaki hopes to beat his performance at the London 2012 games where he lost in the first round to Iranian Mohammad Bagheri Motamed, who would go on to win the silver medal.
Hedaya Malak is the third Egyptian to qualify for Rio in taekwondo; however, its her dominance in the under 57 kg division in 2015 that has secured her ranking as the 3rd in the world in her category, automatically qualifying her for Rio. Malak is also a returning Olympian and will be one to watch as she managed to reach the quarterfinals at the London 2012 games before being eliminated.
Photo of Farida Osman retrieved From Women of Egypt Facebook Page
Questions of whether Egyptian swimmers are more fish than human have been raised as not one but three Egyptians swimmers have already qualified for the 2016 Olympic games in Rio. The first to book their ticket is dolphin in disguise Ahmed Akram, who recently came second in the 400 metre race at the Hungary International Championship, recording a time of 3.50.10 minutes, which was good enough to qualify for Rio. Adding the golden icing to his Rio cake is the fact that he also won gold at the competition in the 800 metre race.
Joining him is Marwan El Kamash, who qualified for Rio with a 200 metre race, recording a time of 1.47.13 minutes and winning the bronze medal at the Charlotte Championship in America.
Also making the cut is Farida Osman, aka the ‘Golden Fish’, who recently broke her own continental record; however, she earned her ticket after coming in fifth in the 50 metre free race with 22.50 seconds at the Santa Clara Competition in California.
Egyptian archers are proving to be deadly accurate competitor,s winning 12 medals at the African Archery Championships, while earning two tickets to Rio. The first to do so was Ahmed El-Nemr, who captured the gold medal in the individual recurve event.
Proving that Egyptian men are not the only sharpshooters is the impressive performance delivered by Hala El-Gebeily at the same championship, claiming gold in the individual compound event.
Photo retrieved from International Table Tennis Federation Africa Facebook page
Not one but four Egyptians are heading to Rio 2016 to compete in table tennis, after a dominant display at the 11th African Games in Brazzaville, Republic of Congo.
Omar Assar smashed the men’s tournament, managing to capture the gold medal and automatically booking his ticket to Rio. Joining him will also be semi-finalist Khalid Assar, whose spin-laden efforts secured the final spot to Rio.
Photo retrieved from International Table Tennis Federation Africa Facebook page
Proving that anything men can do women can do better was the impressive all-female final between Nadeen El-Dawlatly, who faced off against Dina Meshref, who managed to edge off her Egyptian counterpart in an exciting final. By clinching the two top spot, both athletes secured their tickets to Rio.
شبكة اخبار الرياضة Facebook Page
The qualification regatta for the Rio 2016 Olympic games was held in Tunis, Tunisia, and clinching the top spot for the men’s single sculls was the half-man half-machine Abdelkhalek El Banna, who booked his ticket to Rio by a comfortable margin.
However, El Banna will not be travelling alone, as Heba Ahmed's performance managed to qualify her for the last available spot in the women’s single sculls. Also qualifying for the lightweight men’s double sculls is the dynamic pair of Omar Elsobhy Emira and Mohamed Nofel. Sadly, the qualification system dictates that Egypt can only enter one male crew and one women’s crew, so Egypt will need to decide which if El Banna will go or if they will send the pair of Omar elsobhy Emira and Mohamed Nofel.
Photo retrieved from Wlad el Balad Facebook Page
The modern pentathlon is made of a mix of competitions, including: fencing, swimming, riding, running, and shooting. The Modern Pentathlon African Championships were held at the Cairo Stadium in August and, once again, Egypt’s athletes gave the nation reason to be proud. Securing gold medals and guaranteeing themselves a place at the Rio games were Eslam Hamad and Haydy Morsy. Also making the cut, and shaping up to be one of the most exciting storylines, is 16-year-old Heidi Adel, who earned the number one ranking in the world in the under 21 division of the sport, and is expected to compete in Rio.
Photo retrieved from Box Afro Olympic Facebook Page
Becoming the third Egyptian to ever win a medal at the World Boxing Championships is none other than fighting machine Hosam Abdin. The 30-year-old managed to win a bronze at the 2015 World Championship that took place in Doha, Qatar, which automatically granted him a trip to compete in Rio.
Photo retrieved from Egypt Sports Network Facebook Page
Hoping to make Egyptians proud during the field events is none other The Egyptian Thor, Moustafa El Gamal, who managed to qualify for Rio after securing 8th place in the hammer throw at the China World Championship. Also joining him at Rio's field events is javelin-thrower Ihab Abdelrahman El-Sayed, who managed to secure his spot at the Olympic games after an impressive performance, capturing second place at the 2015 World Championships in China.
Photo retrieved from 11th African Games Website
Spiking their way to Rio is Egypt’s men’s volleyball team, who officially earned their ticket in a nail-biting victory over Tunisia at the 11th African Games in Brazzaville, Republic of Congo. Winning the tournament automatically qualified Egypt for Rio, but also secured them a spot in the top ten teams globally, and they will definitely be a contender to watch.
The women’s team almost secured their spot, but sadly lost in the finals against Cameroon on Tuesday. All hope is not lost, as the women’s team will have one more chance to reach Rio by winning the International Olympic Qualifier that will include Colombia, Puerto Rico, and Kenya.
Photo retrieved From African Handball Cup of Nations Website
Egyptian men’s handball remains a global powerhouse, winning the African Handball Cup of Nations after defeating Tunisia in an intense final that took place at the Cairo Stadium, securing the team a trip to Rio.
Photo retrieved from AbouelKassem's Facebook page
Securing his spot to Rio is none other than 25-year-old Alaaeldin AbouelKassem, who will be looking to repeat – or hopefully better – his performance from the 2012 London Olympic games, where he claimed the silver medal. Also qualifying is Egypt’s national team; however, it’s unclear who exactly will be going to represent the national team.
Photo retrieved from YouTube
Putting in an impressive performance at the 2015 World Weightlifting Championship in Houston is none other than the incredible Mohammed Ihab. The competition was one of the first stages for qualifying for the Olympics. It is unclear if his spot is guaranteed; however, considering his recent winning ways, and all indications on his Facebook page, Ihab is hard at work in the gym training to out-lift the world in Rio.
These are but a few of the athletes that we know are for sure going to Rio; however, the number of athletes is set to increase, and even double, as Egypt has qualified for positions in shooting, sailing, and synchronised swimming, but are yet to announce who will be chosen to represent the nation at the 2016 Rio Olympics. Either way, this is an impressive turnout by the pharaohs, and will likely grip the nation’s attention this summer. Who knows, it may finally spur enough interest to watch something other than football in cafés across this nation.
For the latest on Egypt's athletes heading to Rio, click here.