We're still trying to find our feet after a drawn-out people's uprising, we have a new Cabinet (again), the course we are taking is undecided and there's no one yet at the helm. Naturally, very few of us have even noticed anything that's been going on outside of the political sphere — even if it's a success story for a change.
Just this past week Egypt was crowned “2011 Arab World Champion” at the 2011 Arab World Championship held from December 9 to 23 in Doha, Qatar, raking in the lion's share of medals. But no one stopped to laud the fact that we had won 233 medals, 89 of them gold, 77 silver and 67 bronze. Tunisia trailed in second place with 138 medals, followed by Morocco with 113 medals. Qatar placed fourth with 110 medals.
While this is an undoubtable victory for Egypt, it was given little to no coverage by the media, largely because of the political situation but also because of the general lack of enthusiasm for sports that are not football, at least according to sports psychologist Khaled Farouk. "We need to pay more attention to other sports and not only football. If you take a closer look, you will find the best players in Egypt excelling in other sports such as squash, handball, basketball and swimming," says the sports expert. And that is exactly what took place in Doha last month.
Egypt snatched seven gold medals in karate out of sixteen, which is also the highest number of medals to be won by the same country in karate.
The men’s volleyball team earned the gold medal after beating out the Qatari team 3-0 in the finals. The women's team brought home the gold, defeating the Algerian team 3-1.
In handball, Egypt was the flat-out favorite with the men's team defeating host nation Qatar 26-21 and breaking two new records along the way. While facing off against Sudan, Egypt ended halftime with a score of 26-0, thrashing them at game's end to win 58-5.
Egypt's taekwondo players nabbed the gold, silver and bronze medals. Aya Ali won the gold in the women’s 46kg competition and Hend Moustafa received the silver medal in the women's 67kg individual competition. In the men's 58kg individual competition, Tamer Bayoumi earned the gold and in the men's 80kg Mahmoud Saied shared third place with Qatari Mohamed Daher.
The men’s swimming team earned the golden medal in the 4x100 meter competition with a time of 3:37.46 seconds. In the men's 200-meter individual competition, Marwaan Hilal won the bronze while Ahmed Bayoumi shared bronze with Algerian Nabil Kabaab in the 50 meter.
The women's swimming team did extremely well too. Hania Moro earned the gold in the 200-meter competition, Farida Othman took the gold for the 100 meter and Mai Moustafa snatched up the silver medal for the 50-meter.
With times so tumultuous, perhaps we should take our victories where we can get them, and our sportsmen certainly took plenty of victories this year.et