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Egyptian cyclist Shahd Saeed who will take part in the Paris Games.

Egypt’s rising cycling team keen to impress at Paris Olympics

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by Adel El Mahrouky

Cyclists practice at the Cairo International Velodrome. / CGTN

The rising cycling team of Egypt will be seeking to impress at the coming 2024 Summer Olympic Games in Paris after securing four out of the five slots reserved for Africa.

The North African country’s commitment to becoming a cycling powerhouse is clear. It built a state-of-the-art cycling track and invested heavily in building a team. The rewards are now paying off. Egypt is quickly rising into a force on the continent.

Since the team’s inauguration in 2021, Cairo has hosted several continental and international events, The events give local cyclists the exposure they need to compete against the best.

“In the World Junior category we are advancing significantly, our players are ranked from 5th to 9th and we are now the fifth best nation in the world in that age category,” Egypt’s coach Mohamed Ibrahim says. “We are now the Arab Champions and the African Champions against fierce competition from South Africa which used to dominate the continent.”

19-year-old Shahd Saeed will make his Olympic debut in Paris, as the new African record holder for the 500-meter sprint racing event.

“I am surprised to have qualified,” Saeed said. “I didn’t imagine that I would reach that far so fast. It’s my dream to become an Olympic athlete. I will do my best to do well in the Paris Olympics. I hope to make my family and country proud”

“We were not far from the international level in cycling,” Saeed’s teammate Mahmoud Bakr said. “Recently we’ve become capable of challenging top athletes. We are still gaining experience. Hopefully, soon we could be standing on a global podium.”

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