Tell us how your badminton journey started.
I started practicing sports when I was just two years old with my four year-old sister who was training in artistic gymnastics. But it was only two years later when I started taking sports seriously, and by the time I was seven, I had been training rhythmic gymnastics, horse riding and squash all until I got seriously injured and went abstinent for a year. A year later, I picked up squash again and was introduced to badminton by my coach Tamer Raafat at the age of 11. I fell in love with it! We used to go training after school everyday for three weeks then I participated in 11 nationals, won three matches where I got third place.
Did you face any obstacles for being a female?
Of course, some people don’t accept the idea that I am a 27-year-old female who is dedicated to her favourite sport professionally! But I don’t care. I just do what my heart tells me to do. After the 2008 Olympics, most of the surrounding environment was pushing me to concentrate on my pharmacy studies and quit sports, especially when I lost the nationals title in 2009. But I insisted on doing what I love and I regained my strength and gained the title of the first Egyptian and Arabian African champion in history in 2010!
What would you advise aspiring young females who want to follow in your footsteps?
I advise them to never listen to any negative opinions or get discouraged by what people might think! Just as long as they can make some effort and time to play what they love whether professionally or for leisure. They must fight for their dreams and whatever they want! There really isn’t an age for being a champion, all you have to do is work hard and target something bigger than your dream so you know you will achieve something sooner or later.
How many awards/championships have you won?
I never count them; they’re quite a lot! But my favourite medal is the gold one I got in Africa in 2010, and the bronze that I received in the All African Games back in 2015. They’re my favourites because they made history! They’re the first medals to be won by an Egyptian in Badminton. I also won four titles in the international series world ranked tournaments in mixed doubles: two times in doubles and one in singles as well as many runner ups and semi-finalists in mixed doubles along with doubles and singles.
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