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Two years later
Published in Al-Ahram Weekly on 11 - 12 - 2012

Egypt pocketed a total of 51 medals — 42 gold and nine silver — in the 19th edition of the African Junior and Cadet Weightlifting Championship for boys and girls. Libya came second with 32 medals — nine gold, 13 silver and 10 bronze, while Morocco finished in third place.
The championship was divided into two categories: junior male and female under 20 and youths, boys and girls, under 17. The one-week event was held in Al-Menzah in Tunisia with the participation of Algeria, Morocco, Egypt, Libya, Cameroon, Kenya, Madagascar, South Africa Nigeria, Uganda, Senegal and host nation Tunisia.
“The federation did not participate in the African championships for the past two years because of the 25 January Revolution and lack of financial support which was unavailable,” said Egyptian Weightlifting Federation (EWF) president Mahmoud Kamal.
“Still, during that time it was an opportunity to discover some new talent such as Sarah Samir, 15, who won the title of best weightlifter in both the U17 and U20 events. Osama Saad is another promising player. He was also chosen the best weightlifter while Ahmed Ali set a new record in the +105kg.”
Egypt participated in the championship with seven females and three males: Heba Saleh in the 48kg weight category, Basma Emad in 53kg, Zeinab Khaled 58kg, Sarah Samir 63kg, Israa Al-Sayed 63kg, Samar Said +69kg, and Halima Abdul-Azim +75kg
Ammar Hassan, 77kg, Osama Saad 58kg and Ahmed Ali in +105kg made up the men.
The women's team dominated all weight categories, overpowering their opponents en route to winning first place in the junior girls' events.
At the U17 event, Egypt's weightlifter Saleh took first place in the 62 snatch and 80 in jerk, a total number of 142kgs lifted in the 48kg weight category.
Emad took first place with a total 177kgs lifted in the 53kg weight category. Khaled took first place with 163 lifted in the 58kg category. In the 63kg weight category, Samir snatched first place with 215 lifted and Al-Sayed came in second lifting a total of 175kg in the 63kg category. Said made it to first with a combined 178 lifted in the +69kg weight category. Abdul-Azim won first place by lifting 233 in the +75kg weight category.
The result of the U20 girls' events were the same as the U17 girls events except that Said took second place with a combined 178 lifted in the +69kg weight category.
The overall number of medals claimed just by the girls was 33 gold and nine silver.
The result of the men's juniors U20 event saw Egyptian Hassan winning first place with a total 282 lifted in the 77kg category. Saad won first place with a total result of 340 lifted in 58kg. Ali won first place with a total result of 360 lifted in the +105kg weight category. Total medals were nine gold.
“These championships also served as part of the training plan for all the junior weightlifters who were making their first appearance at the regional or international level,” Kamal said.
The EWF is preparing the team for the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) Youth World championships in Tashkent, Uzbekistan from 6-13 April 2013. It is the main qualifying event for the second Asian Youth Olympic Games which will be held in the historic Chinese city of Nanjing from 16-24 August 2013.
Kamal told Al-Ahram Weekly that the federation is now waiting for the weightlifters to finish their exams. “Then, they'll undergo a four-month training camp at the Olympic Sports Centre in Maadi. Because of the time difference and in order to get adjusted to jet lag, we will have a training camp in Uzbekistan immediately before the championship.”


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