Egyptian athlete Ahmed Elgendy and Saudi Arabia‘s karateka Tarek Hamdi have made Olympics history for their nations. Bagging Egypt’s first-ever medal in the men’s modern pentathlon event and the country’s first non-bronze medal at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, Elgendy’s silver medal came after he finished in second place with 1,477 points behind Great Britain’s Joseph Choong. Modern pentathlon is an Olympic sport that comprises five different events: fencing, freestyle swimming, equestrian show jumping, and final combined laser-run event of pistol shooting and cross country running.
The event started last Thursday with fencing, where the 21-year-old managed to gather 208 points to sit in 15th place. The remaining events started on Saturday, starting with the 200m freestyle where he finished fifth in his heat with 316 points. With 284 points in the showjumping event, Elgendy seemed to be on his way to a mid-table finish. However, an impressive comeback in the laser run saw him win 668 points to finish second. Elgendy’s shooting time was 35.75 and he completed his run in 9:56.72. This latest achievement marks Egypt’s fifth medal at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
Meanwhile, Hamdi was on his way to gift his country the first Olympic gold medal in its history, but a technical error in the final of the Men’s Karate Kumite +75kg at Tokyo 2020 left him with the silver medal. The 23-year-old lost the final match against Iranian Sajjad Ganjzadeh after he committed “Hansouko” when he was 4-1 ahead of his opponent. This is Saudi Arabia’s second silver in its history after runner Hadi Sawan picked up silver in the 400m hurdles at the Sydney 2000 Games. Hamdi, showing some finesse in his roundhouse kicks, jabs, and punches, was heading to collect the gold when he erred by kicking his opponent and knocking him to the ground. After the referees consulted among themselves, they decided to fault Hamdi and award the gold to the Iranian player.
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The Olympic silver is still a stunning achievement for the athlete as within nine seconds of the start, he had scored an ippon to lead 3-0, and followed shortly with a yuko to stretch his lead to four points. Minister of Sports Prince Abdulaziz Bin Turki Faisal congratulated Hamdi, announcing a five million riyals reward for his distinguished performance.