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Saudi sportswomen have been making history, one championship at a time. The latest of these achievements was made possible by Saudi Hanan Al-Ameri, 19, whose passion led her to Iraq after taking part in several local championships in the Kingdom.

Al-Ameri was able to take home a whopping six gold medals at the 2021 Arab Weightlifting Championship in the youth 55kg category.

Prior to the tournament, Al-Ameri made extensive preparations as she joined a 25-day camp in Jeddah under the technical supervision of the coach of the Saudi women’s national team Rania Bahloul. Bahloul stressed that Al-Ameri’s victory stemmed from her passion for the sport, her strength, her preparations, her discipline and her technical performance.

“It was a good tournament. It benefited me a lot to compete against other weightlifters, and I gained much experience by participating next to Arab champions,” Al-Ameri said.

National team coach Bahloul noted that Al-Ameri possesses strong techniques and has a passion for the sport, which has helped her to overcome the difficulties she faced when she came to Iraq and joined the championship in Erbil.

The coach said: “Hanan did not surrender. She tried her best to stay in the competition and rank among the winners. Her journey lasted a whole day. She spent more than 12 hours at an airport in Amman before arriving in Erbil on the weighing day for the tournament at 10:00 a.m. It was a strenuous day, and she feared she would be delayed to the championships. However, she was able to join the tournament in time and win gold thanks to her power snatch, power clean and push jerk movements.”

“I want to thank my fellow players who stood with me in this tournament so that I could win. I want also to thank my friends, family and followers on Snapchat for their support and encouragement throughout my trip and during the delay, helping me to get rid of any pressure and tension. I dedicate this success to all of them,” said Al-Ameri.

Weightlifter Dhikra Khurrami grabbed three golds and three silvers. She had already participated in the international weightlifting championship in Jeddah and in a local championship in Riyadh.

“I love this game and my family totally supports me. I hope to represent the Kingdom in the Olympics, but I am also very happy to raise high the name of the Kingdom in the Arab world,” she said.

Saudi weightlifter Lian Al-Qurashi, 15, also won three bronze medals and one silver medal in the same tournament in Iraq. She expressed her happiness in taking part in this tournament, remarking how she gained a lot of experience coming into contact with top-notch Arab women weightlifters and trainers.

“I participated in a local championship in Riyadh in 2020 and then took part in the International Weightlifting Championship held in Jeddah in 2021,” she said.

She added: “I chose this game because it is unique in terms of performance, but it requires several skills, the most important of which are technique and strength.”

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