A first national competition for over 200 canoe and kayak racers took place on the River Nile in Egypt on Saturday.
The north African country which currently has no Olympic title or medals, hopes to boost its chances of competing in the 2020 Tokyo Games.
According to International Canoe Referee, Wassim Chahine, “today’s competition is the Egyptian cup. This is the first competition to be held in Egypt. This the federation’s new policy. They want to hold strong competitions in the middle of the season. This is the first competition and the participation was big. Around 200 players and 13 clubs. The competition is strong and there are very good competitors.”
This is the first competition and the participation was big. Around 200 players and 13 clubs. The competition is strong and there are very good competitors.
Despite a strong international competitive presence, canoeing is still a relatively new sport in Egypt.
One of the winners from Saturday’s competition, 25- year old Galal Osama, hopes to represent Egypt in the 2020 games.
“The Nile, as they say ‘fishing teaches patience’, our sport also teaches patience. Our sport is special because we move all of our body (muscles). We do not use only one muscle. It is a very exciting sport.”
The Egyptian federation was established in 2011 as an independent organisation, though -competitions have been held for decades under the Egyptian rowing association.