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Malak back on the podium
Published in Al-Ahram Weekly on 13 - 06 - 2019

The championship included 255 of the highest-ranked taekwondo athletes from 53 countries who competed in four male and four female Olympic weight categories.
In the women's under-67kg, Croatia's Matea Jelić beat South Korea's Kim Jan-di 8-3 to take the gold medal. Egypt's Malak and France's Magda Wiet Henin won the bronze.
Following the tournament, World Taekwondo staged the first-ever medals ceremony of a modern sport inside the ancient Colosseum in Rome.
Players stood proudly with their medals alongside World Taekwondo President Choue inside the nearly 2,000-year-old amphitheatre.
Malak was among the world's top athletes who included Jun Jang from Korea, Jesus Tortosa Cabrera from Spain, Matea Jelic from Croatia, Shuai Zhao from China, Russian Zhaparov Hatice, Kubra Ilbun from Mexico, and Anastasija Zolotic from the US.
It was the first time such an event has been hosted inside the Colosseum. The occasion was marked by a short performance by the World Taekwondo Demonstration Team.
The ceremony was arranged by Italian Taekwondo Federation President Angelo Cito.
Commenting on the event, Choue said, “It was very special to have had the opportunity to stage a medal ceremony in the world-famous Colosseum. Standing here you are struck by the history. As you look around, you can imagine what the atmosphere must have been like when it was full of tens of thousands of cheering Romans.
“Over the last three days during the Roma 2019 World Taekwondo Championships we have witnessed first-hand the noise the people of this city can make when supporting athletes. But thankfully our sport is a lot safer than what took place here in the Colosseum nearly 2,000 years ago,” Choue joked.
Malak was very happy with her new achievement, her first medal since she sustained a hand injury in the US Open in March which forced her out of the semi-final. “I am very excited after winning the bronze although I felt I was very near to the gold medal but let's do it next time. I thank my Serbian coach who has worked a lot on taking me back to the medals podium after my injury. I also thank Minister of Youth and Sports Ashraf Sobhi and my sponsors for allowing me to attend a closed training camp in Serbia with world champions where I had a chance to train with professional players. This has played a great role in improving my style which I was very proud of this time,” Malak said.
Malak is well-placed to win a medal for Egypt in the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.


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