As we all know, the Olympic Games is the biggest dream for all the athletes. This week, the Olympic qualification train for modern pentathlon stopped in his third station; the 2011 African Championship which was held at Alexandria, Egypt from 22 to 24 July. This championship is the most important gateway to the Olympics for the Egyptians, and is a major event for all African Pentathletes as it offers one priceless Olympic Qualification position to the Men’s and Women’s Champions. So let's know who's dream came true?
Egyptian modern pentathlon has succeeded to booked two seats for the next Olympic Games; London 2012 Olympics by winning the first place at the African qualifying championship, which ended today with the participation of South Africa, Cote d'Ivoire and Senegal, in addition to Egypt, the host country.
In the women's final, Aya Medany (EGY) won her fifth African titles 2004, 2006, 2007, 2009 and finally 2011 by scoring 5072 points to qualify for the Olympic games for the third time, Aya now does not to wait for another chance to qualify.
Medany managed 1st place in all the events event expect for the combined event which was won by the forth place Lamia Fathy, the second place was the Egyptian Reem ElSayed with 4300 points, while the third place went to the South African Karina Gerber the only non Egyptian at the podium in the whole championship.
In the men's final, the competition was harder than the women, and it was confined between the Egyptians pentathletes, the competition went neck by neck till the final event. Finally Yasser Henfy (EGY) crossed the finishing line 1st to fulfill his Olympic dream. Hefny started very well by winning the fencing with 1064 points and 22 victories, in the swimming Amro El Gezairy was the fastest in the pool with 1:58.10 which give him a lead after two event with 2352 points. The surprise came in the riding event when Jon Paul Raper won the riding with 1160 points while Amro charged his lead with 1120 points, to start first in the combined event with just 2 second over his brother Omar, while Mostafa Nofal started third with 26 seconds, and finally Hefny who was in the fourth place after the poor riding of 1016 points and 33 seconds behind Amro.
The two times Youth A world champion Hefny didn't let the chance go by and clocked the fastest time in the combined event 10:39.00 and total points of 5785 while Omar El Gezairy finish second with 5700 points and his brother Amro in the third with 5652 points.
After that, Yasser Hefny added that this competition was very hard to compete with his teammates and also expressed his happiness for the honor of his qualifying to the Olympics for the first time.
On the other side, in a good step from the African federation to make the sport rise in the African continent, there were the Youth A African Championship which was held in Cairo in 22 July, the day before the senior championship, with participation of Cote d'Ivoire and Senegal the new faces in the modern pentathlon in addition to South Africa and the host country Egypt.
The Egyptian modern pentathlon succeeded to win all the medals in the Youth A, while Anas Abdel-Salam won gold with 4660 points, and Ahmed El Sewedy won the silver with 4348 points while Mohamed Walid won the bronze medal with 4200 points. Anas which lead from the first with an impressive fencing of 1132 points, didn't face any problem winning the title.
In the girls, there were many ups and downs, while Fatma El Midany the sister of the 2009 Youth A world championship silver medalist Jihan Elmidany, fell into six place after she have won the first two event but her poor time at the combined event didn't help her, so the gold went to 16th place in the 2011 Youth B European championship Reem Yacout with 3788 points,
"I am very happy to be in that postion and I thank C. Amro El Sayed and C. Mohamed Hossam that they traind me and helped me to be in that postion and I wish to be always in that place" Reem said, the silver medal went to the only 12 years old Haidy Adel which was came from behind from 9th place, she also was the winner of the combined event with time of 12:35.00, and finally the bronze medal went to Sarah Ahmed with 3636 points.
Mr. Sameh Guemeih President of the African Confederation of Modern Pentathlon and UIPM Executive Board member attended the competition in Cairo and Alexandria.