Egyptian Ahmed El Gendy wins silver in the Olympic men’s modern pentathlon
Egyptian Ahmed El Gendy wins silver in the Olympic men’s modern pentathlon Image Credit: Reuters

The Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Creative Sports Award, a Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiative, has started receiving nominations from champion Arab athletes and federations at the Tokyo Olympic Games, who are looking to crown their achievements with the MBR Creative Sports Award.

In its 11th season now, the Award, which is one of the leading initiatives of its kind in the world offering Dh7.5 million in prize money, has been honouring Olympic champions since its inception in 2009, when the Award’s list included a number of heroes from the Beijing Games, including Tunisian swimmer Oussama Mellouli, who won the 1,500m freestyle gold at the 2008 Olympics.

The Award had also honoured winners of the 2012 London Olympics as well as the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games, and the decision to keep the window of nominations for the 11th edition of the Award open until September 15 was taken to give an opportunity to athletes and federations, who have been successful at the Summer Olympics and the Paralympic Games in Tokyo, to file their nominations for the Award.

The Award, meanwhile, has praised the distinguished results of Arab athletes at the Tokyo Olympics, which saw the region get a record harvest of 18 medals - 5 gold medals, 5 silvers and 8 bronze. The Arab tally in Tokyo is four more than the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics, where the Arab haul of 14 medals included two gold medals.

Organisers stressed that the increase in the number of medals, especially more than doubling the golds, indicates the development and maturity in the selection and development of sports talents in Arab countries, as well as the development of technical levels of Arab athletes and their ability to excel on the global stage, especially the success of Egyptian Ahmed El Gendy, who won silver in the Olympic men’s modern pentathlon.

Nominated as an “Ambassador of Sports Creativity” by the MBR Creative Sports Award in 2019, El Gendy is the first Egyptian in Olympic history to win a medal in modern pentathlon.

With the Paralympics Games taking place in Tokyo from August 24 to September 5, the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Creative Sports Award is sending its best wishes to Emirati and Arab para-athletes taking part in the Games, and the Award is hoping they too will return home with a record medal-haul from Tokyo.