The Official Website of the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games  September 6-17, 2008

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Egypt's Morshedi uplifted by compatriot’s victory

Updated:2008-09-11 23:54:21

(BEIJING, September 11) -- Powerlifter Rania Alaa Eldin Morshedi of Egypt couldn't hide her joy on Thursday, September 11, when she saw her compatriot Sherif Othman Othman win gold in the Men's 56kg category with a world record lift of 202.5 kilograms.

"I am very, very happy for his win," she said through an interpreter, "Athletes from the Arab world should win as he did."

Morshedi, a mother of a five year-old son, will be competing in the Women's -67.5 category on Saturday, September 13. The 26-year-old lifter began training just a year and a half ago but has already made her mark as a powerlifter, winning gold at a recent tournament for Arab athletes.

"My son and family showed a lot of support for me," she said, adding that if she won a gold medal in Beijing, she would "inform my son, relatives and friends as soon as possible."

Though Morshedi is in Beijing, her heart is still with her family back home. "I always made phone calls to them," she said.

She noted there are 14 powerlifters in the Egyptian Paralympic Team and all of them are professionals.

"My country has paid great attention to the development of sports and allocated a large amount of money to build infrastructures. Medal-winning athletes are entitled to huge cash awards."

She also gave a thumb-up to the venue and its kindhearted volunteers. "It is a beautiful venue," she said, "and I like these volunteers very, very much."

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