The 2018 Mediterranean Games concluded with an impressive array of victories for Egyptian gymnasts at the 18th edition of the tournament, which was held in Spain.
Nancy Taman won the gold medal in the women’s vault and Ali Zahran won the bronze medal after finishing third in the men’s still rings. The Egyptian women’s team seized the fifth and eighth places in the women’s individual all-around final, and the fourth place in the women’s team competition final. The men’s team came in the seventh place in the men’s team competition final.
Nancy Mohamed Ali Taman, 23, told Daily News Egypt that she was thrilled by her recent victory in the Mediterranean Games, and she is looking forward to continuing her good performance and high results in the future competitions.
Taman conducted two tries in the women’s vault. On her first try, the judges gave her a difficulty rating of 5.4 and an execution of 9.066. She did not receive a penalty and was given a total score of 14.466. On her second try, her scores were a little bit lower, with a difficulty rating of 4.6 and an execution rating of 8.833. The Egyptian gymnast was given a penalty of -0.1 and thus a total score of 13.333. Taman’s total average score was 13.899, 0.166 higher than Slovenian Tjasa Kysselef, who came in second place.
Taman said this was not her first participation in the Mediterranean Games. In the 2013 edition held in Turkey, she ranked fifth in the women’s vault and sixth in the women’s individual all-around final.
She pointed out that the Egyptian Gymnastics Federation held a training camp in Cairo before the Spanish tournament, but they could not hold any external camps for the players.
She added that it was a busy period for the federation, as the Egyptian team participated in several competitions this year. Egypt took part in the 14th Continental African Championships and Youth Olympic Qualifier for WAG and MAG (Women and Men’s Artistic Gymnastics) held from 9 to 12 May 2018 in Swakopmund, Namibia. In this tournament, Taman presented a brilliant performance, winning the gold medal in the women’s vault and the bronze medal in the women’s floor exercise.
In the same month, Egypt participated in the 2018 Osijek World Cup, also known as the Osijek World Challenge Cup, held 24-27 May in Osijek, Croatia. In this tournament, Taman came in eighth place, as she stumbled during her second try. On her first try, the judges gave her a difficulty rating of 5.4 and an execution of 8.667. She received a penalty of -0.1 and was given a total score of 13.967. On her second try, she was given a difficulty rating of 4.2 and an execution rating of 7.467. The Egyptian gymnast was given a penalty of -0.3 and thus a total score of 11.367. Taman’s total average score was 12.667.
Taman was born and raised in Alexandria, where she spent her whole life.
“My uncle put me in the sport at a young age, almost four years old. My father has been my biggest supporter throughout my gymnastics career. He made the commitment to take me to the gym and always offered support to help me succeed,” she said.
Taman said that artistic gymnastics is her only passion in life and she competes in the all-around (all four gymnastics events), but her specialty is the vault.
She praised the current Egyptian Gymnastics Federation’s council board for its efforts and support to all the players. Taman pointed out that she always demanded the federation to allow her coach, Ahmed Abdel Rady, accompany her during different tournaments outside Egypt, adding that the federation approved her call in the last three competitions, which contributed to her success in the 2018 Mediterranean Games.
Regarding the difficulties facing local gymnastics, Taman said that Egypt suffers a shortage of well-equipped artistic gymnastics centres, adding that other countries provide their players with all the resources and equipment that support them to make frequent achievements. The foreign players also devote themselves for the game since childhood.
“Egypt has only one place for gymnastics training in Cairo, so I am forced to travel to the capital frequently or stay there for a while away from my family,” Taman said, stressing, “we lack the huge resources offered to foreign players; however, we receive high-quality training in Egypt almost similar to other countries.”
Taman asked the Egyptian sports authorities to provide new places for artistic gymnastics in different areas outside Cairo.