Our target is to reach the podium of Egypt 2021, says Pharaohs’ stars

Egyptian captain Ahmed Elahmar and left-back Ali Zein have expressed their pleasure playing in the 27th IHF Men’s Handball World Championship - Egypt 2021, at home despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Pharaohs’ duo spoke in an interview with the Egypt 2021 official website, that the current Egyptian squad is able to claim a great achievement during the tournament as well as reaching the podium.

“It’s a big challenge for Egypt to organize the World Championship amid COVID-19 pandemic but we will succeed and the team will put on a superb performance,” Zein said.

“I hope to reach the World Championship podium as well as winning an international medal.

“I appreciate the bubble system in the tournament as we applied it in the last camp ten days before the start of the World Championship.

“Special thanks for the LOC, sports minister and the Egyptian authorities for their effort in accepting the challenge.

“We all feel proud for organising this great international event."

Meanwhile, Egyptian star Ahmed Elahmar revealed that his team suffered a lot while preparing for Egypt 2021 as they failed to play friendly games with European teams amid COVID-19 pandemic.

“We did our best to perform physical trainings within preparations for the tournament as we didn’t play enough friendlies,” Elahmar said.

“I’s great to play the World Championship at home, it doesn’t happen usually as it only comes once in life,”

“We have a big ambitious and we are working raise the Egyptian flag in podium as well as performing well in the tournament.

“The current squad of Egypt team is a mix of young and experienced players and it is one of the best generations in the handball.”

Hosts Egypt opened their campaign at the 27th IHF Men’s Handball World Championship by beating Chile 35:29, sharing the same points with Sweden who defeated North Macedonia 32:20 in the same round.

Egyptian star Ali Zein added that his team missed the fans' support while playing the World Championship games as it gives the players big support.

“We have to concentrate on the games and do our best to achieve the victory,” Zein said.

From his side Elahmar said that he hoped to play the World Championship games in different circumstances to make use of the fans attendance as it would be a great support for the team.

Egypt are scheduled to face North Macedonia in the 2nd round of Group G games late on Saturday.

“We will do our best to put our name among the topflight team like Denmark, France, Norway, Portugal and Slovenia,” Zein added.