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Jordanians hail Abu Ghaush’s gold medal win on social media

By Sawsan Tabazah - Aug 20,2016 - Last updated at Aug 20,2016

Ahmad Abu Ghaush of Jordan celebrates after winning a gold medal in the men’s taekwondo -68kg final at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on Thursday (AP photo)

AMMAN — Jordanians took to social media over the weekend to express their pride in Ahmad Abu Ghaush, who won gold in the taekwondo -68kg event on Friday, the Kingdom’s first ever Olympic medal.

Her Majesty Queen Rania tweeted, “From the Oscars to the Olympics, a great year for #Jordan on the world stage! Congrats to Ahmad Abu Ghaush for the gold! #Rio2016#Taekwondo” 

In a post in Arabic on Twitter, the Queen added: “You delighted #Jordan with your great achievement”. 

Abu Ghaush, a 20-year-old business management student at the University of Jordan, previously won gold medals at the Taekwondo World Championship 2012 in Egypt, Asia’s Championship 2012 in Vietnam and at the Olympic Qualifier in the Philippines.

His Majesty King Abdullah and HRH Crown Prince Hussein phoned the Olympic champion to congratulate him on Friday. 

An Egyptian journalist in Rio, Moustafa Khalil, said that during Abu Ghaush’s final match against Russia’s Alexey Denisenko, he was told that a Jordanian was competing and may need a translator during interviews with other journalists. 

Revealing Arab pride in Abu Ghaush, Khalil cheered for the Jordanian, and noticed a man next to him cheering loudly too.  

“He seemed very excited so I asked him, ‘are you Jordanian?’ And he said, ‘No I’m Algerian, are you Jordanian?’ I said ‘No, Egyptian’,” Khalil wrote in a Facebook post.

Jordan appeared for the first time in the Olympic medal league table, and reached 51st place out of 206 countries.

On Facebook, Jordanians said Abu Ghaush united the country, and that all Jordanians are proud of the athlete, regardless of tribe, hometown, religion or origin.   

Minister of Youth Rami Wreikat met with ministry officials to prepare a reception for the gold medallist, according to the ministry’s Facebook page. Abu Ghaush is expected to return to Jordan on Tuesday. 

Hiba Shatara wrote on Facebook: “Congratulations, you have taught us that there is nothing that can stop you from achieving your dream. Work, build and never give up... then you will achieve it #‎ahmad_abu_ghaush you deserve it!”

 

“Congratulations for Jordan’s the first gold medal in the Olympics; you have made us proud and honoured Jordan’s name,” tweeted Mohammad Mhidat (‏@MohammadMhidat).

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