The Egyptian Boxing Federation, which has always been one of the strongest voices within the African Boxing Confederation, held its Congress in Cairo recently and elected a new board to implement its new vision for the future. With 61 affiliated clubs and youth centres dotted around the country, there was an exceptional turnout as 59 eligible voters attended the congress.
The newly elected board members as follows:
Prof. Dr. Mohamed Abdelaziz Ghonem - President
Mr. Mohamed Aly Elsayed Touma - Vice president
Prof. Dr. Sherif Fouad Mohamed Elgarawany - Member
Mr. Tawfik Hussien Hassan - Member
Mr. Mohamed Elsaid Y. Abed - Member
Mr. Refaat Abdelsalam Mohamed Hemida - Member
Dr Chink-Kuo Wu, International Boxing Association (AIBA) President, congratulated the Egyptian Boxing Federation on their elections by stating, "I am very happy that Egypt has a new leader to further enhance boxing programs in a country that has such a rich sporting heritage".
With the earliest depictions of boxing traced back to ancient Egypt, the sport carries a historical significance to the country and the region. The Egyptian national federation was formed in 1923 and has been successful in producing Continental Champions. Egypt had to wait however until 1989 before claiming its very first international medal at the AIBA World Boxing Championships in Moscow. Their last boxer to repeat that feat was Mohamed Abdelmaghoud El-Fetou Hikal in Mianyang in 2005.
The highlight for Egypt was the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games when their talented group of athletes took three boxing medals. They went on to secure three quotas for the 2008 Beijing Games before increasing that number to five for the London 2012 Olympic Games. Results in London were unfavourable though as between them they recorded only one victory. So with a new board comes a renewed sense of optimism and all eyes will be fully focused on achieving results at Rio 2016.
Veteran African Champion Mohamed Abdelmaghoud El-Fetou Hikal competed at his fourth Olympics in the British capital and was also one of the oldest competitors at London 2012. The Middleweight (75kg) star had been member of his national squad since 1997 but stepped down as team captain to make way for the new generation of fledgling boxers who will look to make their mark in Brazil.
The future now sure looks bright for Egyptian boxing, with Light Flyweight (46-49kg) No.1 Rami Helmy Mohamed Ibrahim El-Awadi and 19-year-old AIBA Youth World Championships bronze medallist Hesham Yehya Mahmoud Abdelaal both having experienced the Olympic Games in London and in the early part of their careers. These two young hopes have both the talent and the hunger to succeed at the highest level and will be the ones entrusted with leading the team in this Olympic era. Teenager Mahmoud Abdelaal was a medallist at the inaugural Youth Olympic Games in Singapore two years ago, so many expect him to confirm his burgeoning talents in the very near future.
World Combat Games winner Mohamed Ramadan Eliwa, who competed at all three of the last editions of AIBA World Boxing Championships, and Light Welterweight (64kg) youngster Eslam Ahmed Mohamed Aly also became London Olympians this summer and will look to learn from their experiences and bring back the glory days. 27-year-old Beijing Olympic Games quarter-finalist Hossam Hussein Bakr Abdin has now rejoined the national squad now and will add some much needed firepower to the group.
With a new board and some hungry boxers coming through, Egypt will soon influencing podiums at the highest level. Watch this space.
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