Teenager Sara Ahmed earned Egypt its first medal of Rio 2016, claiming the bronze medal with a brave performance in the 69kg weightlifting competition on Wednesday.
Ahmed is just the second Egyptian female to win an Olympic medal after her compatriot Abeer Abdelrahman was belatedly given silver in the weightlifting 75kg category last month, when the IOC disqualified all three medallists from London 2012 for taking performance-enhancing drugs.
At just 18, Ahmed lifted a combined weight of 255kg to finish third behind gold medallist Xiang Yanmei of China and silver medallist Zhazira Zhapparkul of Kazakhstan.
Prior to Ahmed and Abdelrahman’s medals, Egypt’s last weighting medal had come in 1948. The country used to be a powerhouse in weightlifting with its men winning a number of medals at the 1936 and 1948 Games.
“I prepared well, since the start of 2016, and I was completely dedicated to training. I even skipped my exams at school,” an elated Ahmed told beIN Sports.
Xiang recovered from a nasty bang on the head to clinch gold with a combined weight of 261kg.
The Chinese lifter was attempting to hoist 118kg on her final go in the snatch when she dropped the barbell on the back of her head, jerking her neck forward and drawing gasps from the crowd.
She appeared unhurt however and brushed off the incident to register 145kg in the clean and jerk.