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YEAREND SPECIAL: A year of rising stars, records and major blows - Daily News Egypt

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YEAREND SPECIAL: A year of rising stars, records and major blows

By Tamim Elyan Sports pundits had a lot to speculate about and many occasions to celebrate in 2010, a year that witnessed the birth of new stars and new champions most of whom Africa has been the stage for. Before January, hardly did Alexandrian footballer, Mohamed “Geddo” Nagy, know that he would send millions of Egyptians …


By Tamim Elyan

Sports pundits had a lot to speculate about and many occasions to celebrate in 2010, a year that witnessed the birth of new stars and new champions most of whom Africa has been the stage for.

Before January, hardly did Alexandrian footballer, Mohamed “Geddo” Nagy, know that he would send millions of Egyptians bursting the streets with joy to celebrate the National football team’s unprecedented three-peat at the African Cup of Nations.

Finishing as the top scorer of the tournament, held in Angola, with five goals, Geddo took part in a series of impressive results that saw the Pharaohs trashing Nigeria, Benin, Mozambique, Cameroon, Algeria in the semi-final, and Ghana in the final scoring 15 goals and conceding two.

However, he was also part of a saga between Cairo Giants Ahly and Zamalek who tried to sign him as part of a re-heated competition between the local rivals amid the appointment of Egyptian football legend, Hossam Hassan, as Zamalek’s manager.

A series of good results by the white team turned the second round of the Egyptian league into a fierce battle between both clubs that Ahly managed to end in his favor in the league. Ahly also managed to eliminate its arch rival from the cup but lost in the final to Haras Al-Hodoud.

However, the ‘Red Devils’ crashed out of the semi-final of the continental champions league on the hands of Tunisian champions Esperance after a controversial return leg.

Eyes then were set on South Africa who successfully hosted the first World Cup on African soil despite concerns over security and low attendance. There, the Spanish team seemed invincible with six victories and one conceded goal. The Spaniards managed to earn its first title after beating Netherlands 1-0 through talented midfielder, Andres Iniesta, in the final.

The tournament saw an embarrassing African representation with the exception of Ghana, as well as, major blows from teams like Italy, Brazil, Maradona’s Argentina and especially a torn French team that caused such embarrassment to the football proud nation that President Nicolas Sarkozy had to intervene to investigate the reasons of the team’s early exist.

On the club level, Inter Milan of Italy made the headlines after winning all possible tournaments and retaining the Champions League title after 40 years by beating German giant, Bayern Munchen 2-0 in the final.

The football world wrapped up the year in a celebration awarding the organization of World Cup 2018 to Russia and 2022 to Qatar for the first time in the Middle East, after previous failed attempts by Morocco and Egypt.

Handball
In handball, Egypt failed to win a second consecutive African title, despite hosting the tournament, losing to Tunisia in the final after a heated North African derby against Algeria in the semi-final.

Zamalek dominated the local and African scene on the club level winning the local league title and the African Champions league and finishing third in the club world cup held in Qatar; while Al-Shorta won the local cup title for the first time.

Volleyball
In volleyball, Egypt showed improvement in the World League achieving two victories against Finland in a group that comprised the USA and Russia as well. In October at the World Cup, the Pharaohs beat Iran and lost to Japan and host Italy to qualify to the second round for the first time; however they lost consecutively to Russia and Spain to end 13th in the overall ranking.

On the local level, Ahly dominated the local scene winning both the league and the cup and beating arch rivals Zamalek in the African Cup’s final to represent the continent in this year’s club world cup.

Basketball
In basketball, Egypt returned to titles after winning the Arab championship beating home team Lebanon 60-57 in a very tight match. Locally, Al-Ittihad of Alexandria won both the league and cup beating Al-Gezira in both.

Olympics
However, as the Egyptian Olympic Committee celebrates its centenary, it was a group of young unknown champions who made the highlight of the year after winning seven medals in the Youth Olympics held in Singapore in August.

Ibrahim Khairy won Egypt’s first gold medal ever in the archery competition while the handball team won Egypt’s first gold medal in a team sport in the Olympics after beating South Korea in the final.

Two silver medals were won by Hamdy Abdel Wahab in the Greco-roman wrestling competition and the women’s rhythmic gymnastics team, the first female medal in Egypt’s Olympic history.

Hisham Yehia in boxing, Mohamed Ashraf in equestrian and Hassan Reda in weightlifting won three bronze medals.

Modern pentathlon star Aya Medany managed to finish fourth in the world cup held in China; while Judo champion, Islam Al Shehaby won a gold medal in Germany’s grand prix after beating Japanese champion Kigi Suzuki as well as a silver medal in the Abu Dhabi grand prix.

 


In handball, Egypt failed to win a second consecutive African title, despite hosting the tournament, losing to Tunisia in the final after a heated North African derby against Algeria in the semi-final.

 

In volleyball, Egypt showed improvement in the World League achieving two victories against Finland in a group that comprised the USA and Russia as well.

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