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11 Muslim Athletes Who Made Headlines At Tokyo Olympics

Here's a look at 11 Muslim Athletes who made the headlines at the Tokyo Olympics 2020

Friday August 13, 2021 0:33 AM, ummid.com with inputs from Agencies

Sifan Hassan

[“Alhamdilllah Rabbil Alamein” — Sifan Hassan declared with Netherlands' flag wrapped around her after winning Gold in Tokyo Games 2021. (Image source: Twitter)]

Tokyo: The Tokyo Olympics that began on July 23 after a year's delay concluded on August 08, 2021 with a glittering ceremony. The next game will be now in Beijing China.

More than 11,000 athletes across 33 sports competed in the showpiece event. Among them were a number of Muslim athletes from more than two dozen OIC countries, and also some from non-Muslim countries.

Here's a look at 11 Muslim Athletes who made the headlines at the Tokyo Olympics 2020.

1. Sifan Hassan

Netherlands' Sifan Hassan became the first athlete to medal in all three track events at one Olympics - the 1,500, the 5,000 and the 10,000 meters.

Sifan Hassan won the women's 10,000 metres final after her gold in 5,000 metres a few days back and Norway's Jakob Ingbrigtsen won the men's 1500 metres event in Tokyo Games 2021.

Sifan Hassan was born in Adama, Oromia, Ethiopia and raised in the countryside of Kersa in the Munesa district of the Arsi Zone of Oromia. She left Ethiopia as a refugee and arrived in the Netherlands in 2008 aged 15.

2. Feryal Abdelaziz

Feryal Abdelaziz claimed Gold after beating Irina Zaretska of Azerbaijan 2-0 in the final for the Women’s Karate Kumite +61 kilogram competition at Tokyo Olympics, becoming the first Egyptian woman to win the title.

The athlete’s achievement at Tokyo’s Nippon Budokan arena secured Egypt’s first Gold medal in 17 years. Karam Gaber was the last Egyptian athlete to win the Gold for the country in the 2004 Athens Games.

Born in 1999, Feryal Abdelaziz was seven when she took up karate in Cairo. In her education she trained to become a pharmacist.

3. Fares El-Bakh

Fares El-Bakh of Qatar set a new Olympic record at Tokyo Games 2021 by lifting a total of 402kg in a dominant performance that fetched him gold in the men's 96kg weightlifting.

Fares El Bakh

A Qatari weightlifter of Egyptian descent, commonly known as Meso Hassouna, El-Bakh lifted 177kg in the snatch before sliding into the clean and jerk and setting an Olympic record in that lift with a weight of 225kg.

It was one of the two Olympic Games records he broke, the other was the combined score of 402kg that turned out to be beyond the reach of his competitors.

4. Mohamed Karim Sbihi

Mohamed Karim Sbihi, A British rower and 3-time Olympian and Olympic medal winner popularly known as Moe Sbihi, was the first Muslim to carry the Great Britain flag at Tokyo Olympics Opening Ceremony along with sailor Hannah Mills.

Moe Sbihi won a gold medal in the coxless four at 2016 Rio Olympics, and at the 2012 London Olympics he was in the British crew that won the bronze medal in the men's eight. He returned to the eight for the 2020 Tokyo games, again winning bronze.

5. Jalolov Bakhodir

Uzbekistan's towering Bakhodir Jalolov won the Olympic super-heavyweight boxing title with victory over Richard Torrez of USA and bagging one of the three Gold Medals his country bagged at Tokyo Games 2021.

In an interview published on March 9, 2020, Jalolov Bakhodir when asked about his ambition had said, “To win gold at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo”.

Flag bearer for Uzbekistan at the opening ceremony of the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Jalolov Bakhodir received the Pride of Uzbekistan honorary title from the president of Uzbekistan in recognition of the gold medal he won at the 2019 World Championships in Yekaterinburg, Russian Federation.

6. Mete Gazoz

Turkey's Mete Gazoz won the Olympic men's individual archery after defeating Italy's Mauro Nespoli 6-4 on the 8th day of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. Gazoz's feat brought Turkey its first Gold Medal at the Tokyo Games. Turkey finished with a total of 20 medals including 2 Gold.

Son of Metin Gazoz, a former national athlete in archery, Mete Gazoz in an interview published on March 8, 2020 when asked about his ambition had said, "To win gold at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo."

Mete Gazoz

"To win this gold medal, I worked unbelievably hard for the last five years. There will be another Olympics in three years’ time and this time we want to win the gold medal as a team. Maybe we can win not one but three or four medals”, he said.

Born in Istanbul in 1999, Mete Gazoz studied archery from a very young age. He continued his career at Istanbul Archery Youth and Sports Club and at the age of 16, he represented Turkey for the first time at the 2015 European Games held in Baku, Azerbaijan.

7. Barshim Mutaz Essa

Mutaz Essa Barshim, a Track and Field athlete, won Gold for Qatar at Tokyo Games 2021 in the Men's High Jump. He is also the current World Champion and second best jumper of all-time with a personal best of 2.43. Earlier he won Gold at the 2017 World Championships in London and at the 2019 World Championships in Doha.

At the Olympics, Barshim won bronze at the London 2012 Summer Olympics, silver at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio and shared gold at the 2020 Summer Olympics Tokyo. Mutaz jumps off his left foot, using the Fosbury Flop technique, with a pronounced backwards arch over the bar.

8. Hafnaoui Ahmed

Ahmed Ayoub Hafnaoui, 18-year-old swimmer, competed in the men's 400-metre freestyle at Tokyo Olympics 2020 where he won Africa's first and Tunisia's only Gold Medal.

The 18-year old Tunisian came to Tokyo ranked 16th and was the slowest qualifier for the final race but won Olympic Gold in Tokyo with a time of 3:43.36.

Hafnaoui competed as a 16-year old at the 2018 World Championships (SC) in the 400 meters and the 1500 meters, but failed to make the final in either event.

9. El Bakkali Soufiane

Soufiane el-Bakkali of Morocco won the 3,000-meter steeplechase event to end more than 40 years of Kenyan Olympic dominance. El-Bakkali won the only Gold Medal for Morocco in Tokyo Olympics in eight minutes, 8.90 seconds.

El Bakkali Soufiane

Kenya had won nine straight Olympic golds in the 3,000 steeplechase since 1980. Kenya’s Conseslus Kipruto, the leading star of the steeplechase, didn’t defend his Olympic title in Tokyo after failing to make the Kenyan team at the national trials.

Previously, El-Bakkali had won bronze at the 2019 World Athletics Championship in Qatar and silver two years earlier in London competing in the same event.

10. Akbar Djuraev

Akbar Djuraev of Uzbekistan won the Men's 109kg Weightlifting Gold. Djuraev set an Olympic record of 430kg, with a clean and jerk of 237kg and a snatch lift of 193kg.

In 2019, he competed at the 2019 Asian Weightlifting Championships in the 109 kg winning Silver Medals in all lifts and setting Junior World Records in the snatch, clean and jerk and total.

At the 2018 Junior World Weightlifting Championships, he competed in the 105 kg division, winning the Silver medal in the snatch, clean and jerk, and total.

He competed at the 2018 World Weightlifting Championships in the 102 kg category, winning a Gold medal in the snatch and setting the junior world records in the snatch and total.

11. Julyana Al-Sadeq

Jordanian taekwondoka Julyana Al-Sadeq may not have been able to get past the pre-quarter finals, but she made the headlines because of her look and close resemblance with US pop star Lady Gaga.

She had won the Gold medal at the 2018 Asian Games in the women's 67 kg weight category.

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