The 2012 London Olympics are hot for women's records since this will be the first year in history that all countries represented have male and female athletes participating. Stepping up to correct this imbalance are Saudi Arabia, Brunei, and Qatar. About this Olympic feat, blogs like Muslim Women in Sports and the DailyMail.co.uk are applauding the efforts made by these countries.
Among this group of female athletes writing the pages of Olympic history is one up-and-coming table tennis champ that is going for a gold medal. Recently, a leader of the Qatar Women's Sports cabinet stated that table tennis and having the favor of the International Olympic Committee was important since they needed "support for the campaign of Qatar to host Olympics 2020." Obviously, the country of Qatar is hoping that their star table tennis athlete will put their country on the map.
An Arabic search revealed many key facts about Qatar's Aia Magdy and hints at the athletic prowess we will see from her during the 2012 London Games -- and beyond.
Full Name: Ayatollah Mohammed Magdi, آية الله محمد مجدي
Name(s) used in the Press: Aia Mohamed, Aya Magdy, آية محمد
Birthday: August 1, 1994 (will turn 18 during the 2012 Olympic Games)
Hometown: Doha, Qatar
Popular Aia Mohamed quote: "[A tournament] requires me to focus, especially [a] big tournament with players from developed countries [that are] advanced and [I] benefit greatly from this participation" (response to her 9th-place win at the 2011 Asia Cup in China)
Major table tennis championships: 2012 Asian Table Tennis Championship (9th place), GAC GROUP 2012 ITTF World Tour Qatar Open, 2011 Arab Clubs Championship, Jordan, 2011 West Asian Junior Tournament, Jordan, 2011 Qualifying Round Asian Youth, Beirut Lebanon, 2011 Pan Arab Games, Qatar with Maha Faramarzi (silver medal), 2011 Peace and Sport Cup Doha, Qatar, 2010 Arab Table Tennis Championship, Bahrain (bronze medal), 2009 4th Gulf Women's Table Tennis Championships (three gold medals)
Total Olympic medals: 0
2012 London Olympics event: Women's singles table tennis (London's ExCeL Arena)
Affiliated table tennis organizations: Qatar Women's Sports Club (QWSC), Sports Committee of Qatari women and the Academy for Sports Excellence, Aspire, Qatar Vision 2030
Coach: Soo Lee
Commonly travels abroad with: Maha Abdaljabbar, Assistant Secretary to the QWSC, and Ahlam Al-Mana, Chairman of the QWSC
Other facts about Aia Mohamed: Mohamed's table tennis is a part of Qatar Vision 2030 that promotes sports for women. … She is one of the first women to ever participate in the Olympics representing Qatar. ... Frequently, Mohamed is in table tennis women's doubles with Maha Faramarzi. … Mohamed is the second athlete in Qatar's history to event for table tennis. …Table tennis coach Soo Lee was hired by Qatar to ensure that table tennis becomes a prominent sport in Qatar.
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Maryam Louise reflects her interests in Middle Eastern sports traditions, gender, horse racing, and weird sports through her freelance writing with Yahoo! and KentuckyDerby.org. She is thankful that female athletes from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Brunei are participating in the 2012 Olympics and hopes that Gulf Arab countries continue to put a much needed focus on the women's obesity crisis in those regions.
- Sports & Recreation
- 2012 London Olympics
- table tennis
- Saudi Arabia