It was a year of claiming medals and making new unprecedented achievements for Egyptian players everywhere. As much as 2017 wasn’t the most jubilant year for some, it came with its own joy in sports, and households everywhere around Egypt shed tears of delight and happiness for their sons and daughters singing their names in the books of history.
Mohamed Salah Reaches New Heights
When it was announced Liverpool had signed Salah, while it was seen as an astute piece of business, many thought at the time he would come in as a strong squad player at best.
He had a bad experience in the Premier League before and, although he had matured into a dangerous winger in Italy, there were still question marks about how he would handle the Premier League.
And Liverpool wasn’t exactly lacking in the forward area with Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Philippe Coutinho the preferred trio up top last season.
But he has exceeded all expectations in his first few months on Merseyside. He is the leading goalscorer in the Premier League with 15 goals in 18 games and broke Robbie Fowler’s record for the most prolific start to life at Anfield.
His tenacious attitude to pop up in the box in the right areas has left defenders in the English top flight dizzy and confused as to how to defend him.
Above all of that, Salah won the 2017 African Player of the Year Award in appraisal for all he has done this past year.
Weightlifting Champion Mohamed Ihab Takes Home Three Gold Medals
Mohamed Ihab Youssef Ahmed became the first World Champion from Africa in a men’s event since 1984 when he won Snatch gold in the 100kg category.
Ihab has had impressive feats in the past, most notably when he secured the bronze medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
As a Bronze Medallist at Rio 2016 with the same Total of 361kg, the African athlete took away the Gold from Asia – winning also the 77kg bodyweight category for the first time since 2011.
Sara Samir Proves Herself as One of Egypt’s Prominent Female Champions
Mohamed Ihab wasn’t the only athlete who brought medals to Egypt from The World Championship. 19-year old Sara Samir secured a gold medal for weightlifting 136 kilos in the clean and jerk category at the International World Federation Championships in Anaheim, California.
Samir is the first female in Egypt’s history to win an Olympic medal after winning bronze at the Rio de Janeiro Games last year at the 69-kilogram category.
A Year of Utter Dominance for the Egyptian Squash Players
It may be still unknown why the Pharaohs are crushing everyone who stands against them in Squash, but the Egyptian audience couldn’t be any happier.
2017 proved once more that our squash players are and will be on the top of their game for a long time.
On December 3rd, the Egyptian squash team won the World Squash Championship title after defeating their English counterpart 2-0 in the final round of the tournament in Marseille, France.
The national team won the title for the fourth time in its history after having achieved three times by the years 1999, 2009 and 2011, while losing the last title of 2013 crowned by the English team.
Just shortly before the World Championship, the Hong Kong Open featured two all-Egyptian finals for the first time in its 32-year history after Mohamed ElShorbagy, Ali Farag, Nour El Sherbini and Raneem El Welily all claimed wins on semi-finals day at the PSA World Series tournament in November.
Over 700 spectators witnessed Nour El Sherbini and Mohamed Elshorbagy crowned at the four-sided glass court in Hong Kong Park Sports Centre this year.
The year ended with Egyptian duo Mohamed ElShorbagy and Raneem El Welily being the 2017 AJ Bell PSA World Champions after an enthralling day of final action at Manchester Central Convention Complex saw both players enter the history books by lifting the sport’s most prestigious title for the first time.
Farida Osman Wins a World Championship Medal and Breaks Five African Records in the Process
The 22-year-old Egyptian Farida Osman, broke her own African record in a time of 25.39 in the 50 fly final, putting her in third place at the World Championships. This has been her personal best record since 2013 and is also Egypt’s first medal of any colour at the event in Budapest.
Breaking her record twice on July 28, she beat the American record.
Osman and South Africa’s Cameron Van Der Burgh and Chad Le Clos were the only African swimmers that earned medals at this meet.
Osman’s mark meant that the African Record in that event is actually faster than the Americas Record, which is certainly rare, although not entirely unprecedented, as South Africa broke the world record in the 4×100 free in 2004.
Osman has also been named as the Best Female Athlete from Africa at the ANOC Awards 2017 in Prague.
Osman, who competed at the 2012 London Olympics at the age of 17, made it to the semi-finals in the 100m fly at the Rio Games in 2014 and will be looking to have a shot at an Olympic medal at the 2020 Games in Tokyo.
For now, her next big test will be the 2019 FINA World Championship in South Korea where she will be hoping to claim more honours.
The Egyptian National Football Team Celebrates Their Biggest Triumph in Decades
It had been a sleepless night in Egypt after the country’s national football team secured a seat at the World Cup finals to be held next year in Russia with a 2-1 win over their Congolese counterparts on the evening of October 8th at a Borg Al-Arab stadium in the Egyptian coastal city of Alexandria.
Egypt’s favourite son, 25-year-old forward Mohamed Salah, scored a stoppage-time penalty that sent Egypt’s Pharaoh’s to Russia for the World Cup and Egyptians around the world into a frenzy of celebration. In Cairo, that meant an endless parade of cars with honking horns and delighted fans swarming into the streets. Army helicopters dropped hundreds of red, white and black Egyptian flags on the celebrants in Tahrir Square – one of the rare occasions on which crowds have been allowed to gather there since the uprisings in 2011.
🇪🇬 EGYPT have qualified for #Russia2018 – their first World Cup since 1990!
— DW Sports (@dw_sports) October 8, 2017
The FIFA World Cup draw was then announced putting the Egyptians with the hosting nation, Russia, neighbouring country Saudi Arabia and fearless Uruguay.
And with the national team heading to Russia next year, they’re likely to crash through another barrier. By the time of next year’s finals, goalkeeper Essam El Hadary would at age 45 be the oldest person ever to play in a World Cup.
2018 is only a few days away and we can’t wait to see our Egyptian players everywhere breaking records and winning medals. For what it’s worth, the faith we put in them, especially the football national team, could be a heartening matter for the whole nation.