CAIRO: With 134 athletes, Egypt has brought its biggest Olympic delegation to Tokyo. They will be representing the country in 24 sports, the largest number of sports that Egypt has ever participated in.
Egypt is also being represented by its youngest athlete at the games in table tennis player Hana Godda, who is just 13.
Over the years, Egypt has accumulated a total of 32 Olympic medals, seven gold, 10 silver and 15 bronze.
Among the athletes representing Egypt in the games is modern pentathlete Haydy Morsy, whose dedication and hard work at only 21 have made her an inspiration to young girls all over the country.
“I am very happy to compete in Tokyo after the postponement for one year, Tokyo will be my third Olympic Games, after competing in Rio 2016, and the Youth Olympic Games in 2014 in China. I am very excited to represent my beloved country … and make everyone proud,” Morsy told Arab News.
Morsy was just 8 when she first started practicing sports, which initially started as a hobby.
Then, aged 13, she qualified for the 2014 Youth Olympic Games.
“In the beginning, I was just training with a team in a club, and just after two years, they asked me to join the national team … When you represent your country, you are at a different level where you have to work really hard to achieve your targets and dreams,” she added.
She explained that an Olympic medal has been her dream since she first started modern pentathlon.
“I want to be the first Egyptian female athlete in modern pentathlon to get an Olympic medal and make every Egyptian proud,” Morsy said.
Her life as an athlete is anything but relaxed. She dedicates her days to training and working towards her goals.
“I wake up at around 6:00 a.m. to start my day with swimming training, and then I train every day for around six or seven hours. I know it sounds crazy, but I really love this sport, and always want to give it my all before I decide to retire,” she said.
She qualified for the games after winning the 2019 African Championship before their postponement from 2020 to 2021.
“It was an unbelievable moment, I will never forget it, especially that the qualification was here in my hometown. And nothing is better than winning in front of your family and friends.
“I always look forward to achieving more and more as an athlete because I know one day I will stop and turn the page. I want to enjoy every single moment while playing the sport.”
Morsy is only one of many Egyptian athletes who have dedicated their lives to sport to represent their country in Tokyo.
But sadly, not all of the country’s athletes have been permitted to attend.
Egyptian weightlifters will not compete in Tokyo after the International Weightlifting Federation banned the country after it was proven that its athletes were doping during the Youth African Games.
This ban includes Olympic medalists Sarah Samir and Mohamed Ihab, which will affect Egypt’s chances of breaking its previous record of five medals during a single edition of the competition.