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In Memoriam Gamil Hanna

Egyptian and international weightlifting had to suffer a great loss on 17th May 2015. The world’s Weightlifting Community is saddened to learn about the passing away of Gamil Hanna at the age of 80 years.

Gamil Hanna was an engaging individual who truly deserved both names: “Father of Egyptian Weightlifting” and “Father of African Weightlifting”. Together with his brother, Samir, who left us in 2006, both of them former outstanding weightlifters, they built up and developed the sport in their country and became iconic figures through several decades of constant and devoted activity and unfailing efforts.

Having served in the Egyptian Armed Forces, Gamil Hanna continued to serve his country, Egypt as well as his Continent, Africa in the field of weightlifting. He did so with high discipline, extreme diligence and great passion. He organised the sport and introduced many young people to weightlifting. He was an international official with great experience attending 8 Olympic Games, over 50 World Championships, innumerable African, Mediterranean and Arabic Championships – many of which he initiated and organised himself.

Together with the IWF President, he founded the Weightlifting Federation of Africa in 1978 and was its President from 1986 to 2009. He was also founding member and General Secretary of the Arabic Weightlifting Federation.

Gamil Hanna carried important international positions: Member of the IWF Scientific and Research Committee from 1981 to 1988 and a co-opted Member of the IWF Executive Board from 1986 to 2009.

His great services were honoured by the IWF Order in Gold in 2000 and several Egyptian awards and distinctions.

However, he will not only be remembered as a great coach, administrator or official. Gamil Hanna was a true and loyal friend, a brotherly and fatherly figure to many, someone who treated the world with great wisdom and a warm personality. His death leaves a great void and he will live on forever in our hearts.