28. March 2003  
Artistic Gymnastics

Raouf Abdel Karim: First African World Cup Winner in History

The 27th Tournament of Masters in Cottbus has been a historcal moment for Africa: The 25-year-old
Raouf Abdel KARIM from Kairo is the first African gymnast in history who has obtained a World Cup victory in gymnastics. On the vaulting table ERGOJET he managed to overtake such specialists as the former European champion Leszek Blanik, Ioan Suciu from Romania or in the Winner’s Final the dynamic Russian Anton Golotsutskov.
After Mohamed Lazhari from Algeria (Tokyo 1964) and Mohamed Ibrahim (Egypt) Raouf Abdel Karim has been the first African gymnast after 36 years to take part in Olympic Games in Sydney 2000...

Raouf Abdel KARIM, 25 jähriger Sportlehrer/Trainer am Sportinstitut in Kairo (Ägypten)

Walid Said Eldariny third at rings, Cottbus 2002

And now a historical first World Cup victory for Egypt.
Raouf Abdel Karim was born in Kairo and has been doing gymnastics already for 20 years now. He has three sisters and graduated from the sports institute in Kairo to be a sports teacher. His average training time is 6 times a week for three hours. The first international competiton in which he had taken part was the McDonalds-Cup in Fort Worth, Texas/USA, he had been 18 years old there. He celebrated his first major victory also on vault – 1997 at the Mediteranian Games in Italy.
Now Karim definitely wants to take part in his second Olympic Games since he has been the first African gymnast to take part in Olympic Games after Tokyo 1964. There, Mohamed Ibrahim from Egypt had taken part. “It will not be easy to compete there without a team,“ knows Raouf Abdel. He has to take his chances through the all-around, which includes his weak apparatus pommel-horse, and through the continental regulation. His victory in Cottbus, however, will remain a special one forever.
E.Herholz / Translation: Lisa Worthmann