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Rio 2016: Egyptian weightlifters bring home two bronze medals Open in fullscreen

The New Arab

Rio 2016: Egyptian weightlifters bring home two bronze medals

So far four medals have been awarded to Arab nations [Getty]

Date of publication: 12 August, 2016

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Two weightlifters have made Egypt proud after taking home two bronze medals at the Rio Olympics, with one being the first Egyptian woman to stand on an Olympic podium.

Teenager Sara Ahmed made Egyptian sporting history on Wednesday when she came third in the women's 69kg category.

Ahmed, donning a sports hijab, lifted a total of 255kg at the event.

"This is such a big honour. All Egypt was waiting for one or two medals from our team," Ahmed told local media.

"I hope this will encourage other girls to take up the sport. A new weightlifting generation can be born, a new beginning."

The 18-year-old from the sea-side city of Ismailia became the first Egyptian woman to accept a medal at the Olympics - and the first Arab woman to win in weightlifting during the games.

Last month, Egyptian Abeer Abd al-Rahman was belatedly awarded a silver medal after three athletes from the London 2012 games had their medals stripped away over doping charges.

On Thursday, Mohamed Mahmoud won another bronze for Egypt in the 77kg event after he lifted an impressive 361kg over the two phases of the competition.

     
      The last time Egyptian wieghtlifters were on the podium was 1948 [Getty]

Footage of an embarrassed Mahmoud eagerly trying to get his hands on his first-ever medal has been widely shared on social media.

The weightlifters have not been the only Egyptian athletes to steal the limelight at the games - the beach volleyball team have been fan favourites, especially the hijab-wearing Doaa al-Ghobashy.

The two bronzes bring the tally of Arab medals at Rio up to four so far.

Moldovan-born Sergiu Toma bagged the UAE its second ever Olympic medal and its first in judo on Tuesday.

And on Wednesday, Kuwait's Fehaid al-Deehani, competing at the Rio Games as an independent athlete, won the men's double trap gold.

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