International Women’s Day: Egypt’s female athletes outperform men internationally

Egyptian women have boldly stepped into the field of competitive sports in the past years, no longer content with the merely participating, they aim to win tournaments and raise the Egyptian flag in continental, international and Olympic tournaments. The last year was a successful one for Egypt's sportwomen.

They have surpassed their fellow sportsmen in the number of medals and titles won across all competitions. Women won 24 medals in all kinds of sports in various competitions around the world, while Egyptian men have won 19 medals.

Egypt's champion in squash, Nour el-Sherbini, is the first Egyptian to be crowned at the World Squash Championships, one in Malaysia and another in England. The success of Raneem el-Weleily should also make Egyptian proud when she topped the world ranking for best squash player.

Last year, the women's squash team were victorious at 2016 Women's World Team Squash Championships in Franceafter winning 2-1 in the final against England.

Egyptian athletes excel in other sports aside from squash, of course. The women's volleyball team for Ahli Sporting Club is a shining star in Arab and African volleyball, and won the CAF Champions League and the Arab Clubs Champions Championship in an unprecedented achievement.

Breaking stereotypes is Sarah Samir, the Egyptian champion in weightlifting. She is the first woman to win a medal for Egypt in the Olympic games and the youngest Egyptian champion to climb the podium at the games, winning a bronze medal in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.

Egyptian Taekwondo fighter Hedaya Malak Wahba also won a bronze medal in the Rio Olympics, in a new achievement for women's sports. Weightlifter Abeer Abdelrahman won bronze at the 2012 London Games, after her competitors failed doping retests.

The achievements of Egypt's sportswomen continue with five champions winning medals in the Rio Paralympic Games. Randa Mahmoud Tajuddin took home gold, Fatima el-Tabie and Rehab Ahmed won silver, and Amal Mahmoud and Amani Ibrahim came away with bronze.

Nada Madani won a bronze medal in the 38kg division of the Junior World Championship for Wrestling, in Georgia. The late champion Reem Magdia also won bronze in these championships in the 43kg division. She was later killed in a car accident.

The Egyptian Kumite team — comprised of Giana Farouk, Jasmine Hamdi, Randa Roosevelt, and Nada Sayed — succeeded in winning bronze at the World Karate Championships, held in Austria. In the 2014 tournament, the team won gold. In the more recent championships, Radwa Sayed won bronze in the 50kg division.

Enas Khurshid is the first Egyptian to win an Olympic medal in wrestling; she qualified for the 69kg division semifinals, after winning against athletes from Venezuela and Brazil. She lost to Russia in the semi-final and to Kazakhstan in the bronze medal match.

Egyptian women's ambitions do not stop at winning medals, but progressed to taking managerial positions in sports unions and boards — a new victory for Egyptian women in sport. 

Noha Abdel Wahab became the first deputy head of the technical committee of the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG), and Hala Salama assumed the post of African continent representative at the consultancy office to the FIG, following elections held in the Japanese capital of Tokyo in November.

The International Olympic Committee chose Aya Madani, the modern pentathlon champion, as a member of the committee for relations and developing sports — one of the most important executive committees of the International Olympic Committee.

Despite the small number of Egyptians who compete for international teams, there are some who act as ambassadors for Egyptian sports, such as Marwa Eid Abdel Malik, the first Egyptian handball player who competed abroad. She joined Aunis team of France in the 2010 season; over the course of five seasons she won the award for being the team's sticker in two seasons, and was awarded best player in the 2015 season, before moving to the French premier league club for Nice.

Malik held the captaincy badge of Aunis, as the first Egyptian and Arab woman to lead a European team at the level of the lounges games. Rehab Jumaa is following in her footsteps and plays in the third division of French league with the Angoulême Charente Handball club.

In basketball, the star Reem Moussa shines in the KP Brno club for the Czech Republic, showing an excellent and honorable side of Egyptian sport.

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