Egypt Announces Artistic Swimming Team for Paris 2024

Egypt has announced the nine athletes who will compete in the artistic swimming events at the 2024 Olympic Games. The team will be led by veteran Nihal Saafan, who will make her third Olympic appearance in Paris. Olympian Hanna Hiekal, who competed in duet and team in Tokyo, will also bring international experience and consistency to the French capital.

The artistic swimmers selected to represent Egypt this summer are as follows:

  • Farida Abdelbary (17)
  • Mariam Ahmed (18)
  • Nadine Barsoum (18)
  • Amina Elfeky (19)
  • Hanna Hiekal (21)
  • Salma Marei (19)
  • Sondos Mohamed (18)
  • Nihal Saafan (27)
  • Reserve: Malak Toson (21)

Team captain Nihal Saafan has been a staple of the Egyptian squad for over a decade. A two-time Olympian in the team event, she has competed in all seven World Championships between 2013 and 2024. The 27-year-old also helped the Egyptian team place eighth at the Tokyo Olympics and seventh in Rio. With her selection to the Paris Games, she is bound to become the first three-time Olympian in artistic swimming for Egypt.

 

Hanna Hiekal will make her second Olympic appearance, and is set to compete in both the duet and team events once again. The 21-year-old has competed in four World Championships since making her senior debuts in 2019, and has been part of the duet ever since, albeit with different partners over the years.

In Paris, she will be paired with Nadine Barsoum for the duet routines. The 18-year-old first joined the senior national team ahead of the 2022 season, and has appeared across most events over the years as well as in the last three World Championship. She notably competed in solo at the 2023 World Championships — on top of the team events — and also performed in the technical duet in 2022 alongside Saafan. 

Barsoum and Hiekal only joined forces this year, placing 16th in the free duet at the Doha World Championships. They swam in both technical and free duets at the Paris World Cup in May and finished 10th and 11th, respectively.

Hanna Hiekal and Nadine Barsoum at the 2024 Paris World Cup. Photo: Anh Viet CHAU

The core of this young Egyptian Olympic squad has actually been together for numerous years already, with six athletes competing on the same national teams through the age groups since 2019.

Farida Abdelbary, Mariam Ahmed, Nadine Barsoum, Amina Elfeky, Salma Marei and Sondos Mohamed all represented Egypt at the 2019 World Youth Championships as well as the 2022 World Junior Championships. Abdelbary, Barsoum, Elfeky and Mohamed were also on the senior national team from the 2022 World Championships on, and have now appeared in three World Championships in total since.

Only 16 at the time, Amina Elfeky had been moved up to the senior team in 2021 when she was selected as the reserve for the Tokyo Olympic Games. At that time, she had only competed internationally once at these 2019 World Youth Championships, helping the squad to a 15th-place finish. She will now get to swim in the Olympics in the team routines, with four World Championships (three seniors, one junior) under her belt.

Mariam Ahmed and Salma Marei joined the senior team in 2023, and competed alongside the rest of her Olympic-bound teammates at the 2023 and 2024 World Championships. 

Malak Toson has been selected as the traveling reserve. The 21-year-old has been competing internationally since 2018, appearing at the World Junior Championships that season before joining the senior squad for the 2019 World Championships. She has appeared in the following three editions as well.

Egypt has been on the rise throughout this Olympic cycle, notably qualifying to all three team finals in 2023, marking the first time the country made it to a world team final since 2009. The country successfully qualified a team and duet for the Paris Games through the 2024 World Championships, where it noticeably placed eighth in the acrobatic team final.

ARTICLE BY CHRISTINA MARMET

Cover photo: Xinhua/Xia Yifang

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