UAE and Egypt Win First Three Olympic Medals from the Arab World
BY: Alexa George/Contributing Writer
On Tuesday August 9, United Arab Emirates athlete Sergiu Toma was the first Arab to win a medal in the 2016 Rio Olympics. Toma was born in Moldova but was naturalized by the UAE in 2013. He was also among two other UAE judo athletes in this year’s games. Toma’s bronze medal win served as a huge victory to the UAE not only because it was the first medal in the judo category, but also because this was only the second Olympic victory in UAE’s history.
After his win Toma stated, “I’m very proud to represent the UAE and win the medal for them, I want to thank all the people in the Emirates for helping me with my career. I dedicate this to them and to my mentor.”
But the UAE isn’t the only Arab country winning medals in Rio de Janiero this year.
Earlier today, Egyptian weightlifter Sara Ahmed won Egypt’s first medal in the Rio Olympics. Ahmed lifted over 245 pounds in one part of the competition and 143 pounds in another. She was the youngest girl crowned in the weightlifting competition and only the second Egyptian female Olympian to receive a medal in the country’s history.
When asked about her victory, Ahmed stated, “It’s a very great honor and I cannot express it,” she said on making history. “It’s not easy to compete here because all the athletes are very experienced.”
Also gaining a medal for Egypt was Mohamed Mahmoud. He ranked third place in his first Olympic competition and was the first Egyptian male weightlifter to win a medal since 1948.
These wins were imperative for the Arab world because it proves that Arabs can accomplish greatness. The Olympics have only just begun and already the Arab world is bringing on the heat and making history.