The Middle East class of 2023 is here, 120 of the region’s most creative, impactful, inspiring individuals gathered in one list to fight for a spot on the world famous Forbes 30 under 30 list. To our wonderful surprise, four Egyptian female athletes made the nominee list! Even if they don’t make the cut, these accomplished women will always have a place in our hearts.
1. Bassant Hemida: Sprinter
Hemida won a gold medal in the women’s 200-meter race at the Fanny Blankers-Koen Games in 2023, achieving a new national record of 22.41 seconds. She also earned two gold medals in the 100-meter and 200-meter-race at the Mediterranean Games in 2022, making her the first-ever Egyptian athlete to win gold in the 100-meter sprint. Hemida was appointed as an ambassador for the UN global initiative Generation Unlimited in Egypt, Shabab Balad.
2. Hana Goda: Table Tennis Player
Goda began playing table tennis at the age of four, and in 2022, at the age of 14, she became the youngest winner of a Continental Cup title by winning the women’s singles championship at the ITTF-Africa Cup. In September 2023, Goda won the women’s singles at the 2023 ITTF African Championships and qualified for the Paris 2024 Olympics. She was ranked second in the International Table Tennis Federation’s U-17 Girls’ Singles and 31st in the Women’s Singles as of October 2023. Truly an inspirational athlete.
3. Mayar Sherif: Tennis Player
Sherif was ranked 31st in the women’s singles world rankings in June 2023, the highest rank achieved by an Egyptian tennis player since former Egyptian champion Ismail El Shafei, who was ranked 34th in the world in 1975. Born in Egypt with Spanish roots, Sherif was the first Egyptian woman athlete to play in a Grand Slam tournament and the first to win the Hologic WTA Tour title. In 2023, she won her sixth WTA 125 title of her career. Sherif’s career record includes 16 singles titles and seven doubles titles.
4. Sara Samir: Weightlifter
Samir won a bronze medal at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games in the 69kg category and became the first Arab woman to ever win an Olympic weightlifting medal. She won the gold medal in the Women’s 76kg category at the IWF World Championships in 2022 and 2023, held in Colombia and Saudi Arabia, respectively. She won her third continental senior title at the 2023 African Championships in May 2023. Samir is currently ranked third in the 2023 Annual World Ranking of the IWF for Seniors in the 81kg category.
Want to read more about Forbes 30 under 30? Read about Ally Salama, another candidate who seeks to promote mental health through music.