ALGIERS- Former African weight lifting champions Abdelmounaim Yahiaoui and Azzedine Basbas were honoured Tuesday, in Algiers, by the Algerian Federation and the African Confederation of weight lifting for their sports careers as athletes, then as coaches.
Gifts were given to the former athletes, who are now national coaches, by the president of the International Weight Lifting Federation, Hungarian Tomas Ajan, the president of the African Union of Sports Confederations Egyptian Ahmed Nasser and the president of the African Weight lifting Confederation, Libyan Khaled Mhalhal.
“This distinction touches my heart, after a whole career and years at the highest level of this sport where it is always very hard to stand out from the best in the world. My long athletic career full of titles and punctuated with a 4th place at the 1994 Olympic Games was useful to me, since today, I am coaching young athletes who are called to do like us and even better in the future,” said Yahiaoui.
Azzedine Basbas, currently a national coach for girls, said that “this gift crowns a whole athletic career. Everything we learned for years at the highest level, we are inculcating it to our young athletes who are in constant progress.”
For his part, the president of the African Weight Lifting Confederation Libyan Khaled Mhalhal hailed Basbas and Yahiaoui, noting that “they not only honoured Algeria, but also Africa in major sporting events to which they partook during their athletic careers.”
For the president of the Algerian Weight Lifting Federation Aziz Brahimi, the two athletes have always given the “best image” that can be given to the sport.