Egyptian swimming team player Abdelrahman Sameh won the gold medal in the 50-meter freestyle competition within the Swimming World Cup hosted by Greece on Sunday.
Yet his victory was marred by death threats, which Sameh said he received due to his vocal support for Palestine.
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Sameh told the “SOS” swimming website, “I do not know if I can celebrate this achievement in all honesty, as I have gone through a very difficult week mentally.”
“I have received death threats, and people have been attacking me all week because of my support for Palestine. My family goes to sleep not knowing if someone will break into my room or apartment the next day, and they have to wonder every time I don’t answer a call if I’m busy, or if someone is trying to kill me.”
Sameh concluded that, “I honestly do not know if I should celebrate this or not, as my brothers are being killed in Palestine now.”
He took first place after he was able to finish the race in a time of 23.04 seconds.
Austrian national team player Isaac Cooper came in second place with a time of 23.19 seconds, while American Michael Andrew came in third place at 23.32 seconds.
Sameh placed eighth in the final of the 50-meter butterfly race at the last World Aquatics Championships, which was held in the Japanese city of Fukaku, where he achieved a time of 23.34 seconds to finish the race in eighth place.
He qualified for the semi-finals of the World Championship, achieving a new record for Egypt with a time of 23.10 seconds.