Moroccan surfer Ramzi Boukhiam on making the most of his second chance
Abtal
by The National News
1M ago
In the eighth episode of the Abtal podcast, host Reem Abulleil is joined by Moroccan surfer Ramzi Boukhiam, who is getting ready to compete in his second Olympics this summer. Boukhiam is the first Moroccan or Arab surfer to qualify for the Championship Tour, which is the highest level of competition in the sport. The 30-year-old from Agadir recently clinched a silver medal at the ISA World Surfing Games in Puerto Rico to secure his Olympic spot and solidify his place among the best surfers on the planet. In this revealing conversation, Boukhiam delves deep into the highs and lows of his caree ..read more
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Safiya Al Sayegh on blazing a trail for UAE women in professional cycling
Abtal
by The National News
1M ago
In the seventh episode of the Abtal podcast, host Reem Abulleil is joined by UAE’s first female professional cyclist, Safiya Al Sayegh. A multiple-time national champion and a time trial bronze medallist at the Under 23 Asian Championships, Al Sayegh has made rapid strides in the sport within a very short period of time. In 2022, she signed for Team UAE ADQ to become the first Arab woman to join a WorldTour outfit. She made her WorldTour competitive debut last year, with an impressive top-35 finish at the Tour of Chongming Island in Shanghai. Al Sayegh has represented the UAE in two World Cham ..read more
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Egypt's Marwan El Kamash on doing whatever it takes to fulfil his Olympic dream
Abtal
by The National News
1M ago
In the sixth episode of the Abtal podcast, host Reem Abulleil is joined by Egyptian distance swimmer Marwan El Kamash, who is getting ready to compete in his third Olympic Games this summer. Since he moved to the United States more than 12 years ago to study and swim at the University of South Carolina, El Kamash has gone to extreme lengths to not only sustain, but consistently develop his career as a swimmer. During the conversation, he talks about how he went from being a young teen in Alexandria who hated swimming, to becoming one of the best distance swimmers in the world with an immense p ..read more
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Power couple Ziad El Sissy and Nouran Gohar on shared dreams and championship mindset
Abtal
by The National News
2M ago
Abtal podcast series is back after a short break with a new line-up of inspiring Arab athletes and compelling conversations. In the fifth episode, host Reem Abulleil is joined by two athletes this time, Egypt’s first medallist at a Fencing World Championship Ziad El Sissy and his wife, squash superstar Nouran Gohar. A bronze medallist at the World Championships and a Mediterranean Games champion, El Sissy has carved a path for himself in sabre fencing that has taken him from Alexandria to Detroit, Dallas to New York, and to his current residence in Connecticut, where he shares a home with Goha ..read more
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Swimming star Farida Osman on overcoming mental challenges to chase her fourth Olympics
Abtal
by The National News
2M ago
In the fourth episode of the Abtal podcast, host Reem Abulleil sits down with Egyptian swimming star Farida Osman. A three-time World Championship medallist and African record holder, Osman has overcome many challenges both in and out of the pool to blaze a trail for Arab swimmers across the region. Osman exploded on to the scene as a 16-year-old when she became Egypt’s first junior world swimming champion in 2011. She has since become one of the best sprinters in the world, shattered numerous records and participated in three Olympic Games. Ahead of her fourth appearance at the Games, we spea ..read more
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UAE showjumper Abdullah Al Marri on historic Olympics qualification and finding his hunger
Abtal
by The National News
2M ago
In the third episode of the Abtal podcast, host Reem Abulleil is joined by Emirati showjumper Abdullah Al Marri, a popular figure on the equestrian scene in the region and beyond, and a recent individual bronze medallist and team silver medallist at the Asian Games in Hangzhou. A winner of several Grand Prix events, Al Marri was part of a group of showjumpers who made history for the UAE last year when they secured qualification for the Olympics as a team for the very first time. In this conversation, Al Marri shares what it’s like to jump a 1.6m-high fence on top of a 600kg horse and what it ..read more
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Teen prodigy Hana Goda on pressure, Olympic dream and fear of failure
Abtal
by The National News
2M ago
In the second episode of the Abtal podcast, host Reem Abulleil is joined by Egyptian table tennis prodigy Hana Goda. Goda, 16, has been making waves in table tennis internationally since she was 11. She was ranked No 1 in the world in the under-15 cadets category when she was only 12. Last year, at the senior level, she became the youngest to win the African Championship at the age of 15. Goda is currently ranked in the world’s top 30 and is Paris-bound with team Egypt for the Olympic Games this summer. She was recently named the Best Emerging Arab Athlete at the Mohammed bin Rashid Creative S ..read more
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Tennis stars Ons Jabeur and Mayar Sherif open up about their journeys
Abtal
by The National News
2M ago
In the first episode of Abtal, host Reem Abulleil is joined by two iconic Arab tennis players, Tunisian Ons Jabeur and Egyptian Mayar Sherif, for their first interview together. Ons is the highest-ranked African woman and Arab player in tennis history and Mayar is the second-highest ranked Arab woman in history and the highest-ranked Egyptian tennis player ever. The conversation features their journeys from their early days trying to make it in tennis, and how each of them has taken a completely different path to the top echelons of women’s tennis, reflecting on the key decisions they made alo ..read more
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Abtal Trailer
Abtal
by The National News
2M ago
Abtal is a new podcast series from The National News, hosted by sports journalist Reem Abulleil, that is dedicated to Arab athletes and their respective journeys towards the Paris 2024 Olympics. In Arabic, the same word is used for both champions and heroes, and that is Abtal. In this series, Reem delves deep into the lives of the region's sporting heroes, focusing on the human behind the athlete, the pressures they endure and the mentality they adopt to perform and excel. Through conversations with the athletes in this series, we get a chance to view them in a different light, one that goes b ..read more
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