Throwholics questioned the reigning African Champion Omar El Ghazaly. We talked about his career and the sensational movie in which he has a starring role.
The fans of throwing haven´t heard much about you since you quit with Aleksander Tammert ( Jr. ). What has changed afterwards?
A lot has changed, I´ve been injured for 7 months from the pubic bone. I got a lead role in an Egyptian cinema movie, and was busy shooting it while recovering from injury. Now it´s better.
What was the reason that lead you to the decision?
Instead of discussing reasons I prefer to wish Aleksander Tammert the best as an athlete and as a coach in the future. It was a good time with him and I am keen on keeping the good relations between us. It was just a natural thing that we stopped working together after such a serious injury I got.
Whom your preparation team consists of before the Olympics?
It is me and Estonian physiotherapist Siim Altosaar who helps with treatments and many people that support and motivate me in Egypt.
What is your main target this year?
My main target is to be fully dedicated and keep my focus 100% on throwing. Then I am already satisfied, whatever the result would be.
How´s your preparation been?
Preparation started very late cause of the injury. Serious training started from 3rd of April in Tallinn.
You have had many injuries during your career. What is you philosophy of preventing them?
To prevent the injuries I just need to stop over training like I did in the past and train like it fits me not like what fits all other top throwers or throwers before. Everyone has a different fit. I won´t let any coach over train me again. And of course physiotherapist is needed full time. For an example I trained normally and not over the limit with Vésteinn. He is a great coach. But I didn´t have a physiotherapist and that lead to injuries.
How confident are you before the season?
Whatever my shape is, I am always confident thank God, just need to prepare my tools and body at there best so the confidence will deliver what I want.
You are the former World Junior Record holder (65.88). Margus Hunt broke the record in 2006 and Nikita Nesterenko broke the 70-barrier couple of years later. Hunt now plays the college football in United States and Nesterenko struggles under his potential. You are one of the few supertalents who came to the top. What are the key factors of successful switching from youth to adult?
Some young athletes get over trained so it´s hard to develop later. I got a bit of that and tried and still trying to work around it and make it to the extreme top as an adult . Main thing is to stay grounded, never realize the success and do it for the right reasons. Some young athletes throw for the right reasons but as soon as they suddenly get big and a bit famous their mind gets off the track. The soul starts to get empty, motivation down and no flame what so ever behind them. How to dedicate and develop then? My advice is to never realize success, just keep going.
How often you plan to compete this year?
I plan to start competing from mid of June. I have the African Championships on the 28th of June. 5-6 competetions are needed before the Olympics to get ready.
You are going to release your first movie after the Olympics. You are the starring actor. How is it going?
Filming is going good so far. There is still lots of work to do after the Olympics and maybe a bit before. I am enjoying my first acting experience and looking forward to when it´s totally ready and released. The crew I am working with is great, and especially the director and producer Karim Ali Ismail. He is great on set and of course very talented. He supports me 100% and always follow my training progress.
The movie closely concerns the Egyptian revolution. What do you think is the impact of the movie to the Egyptians?
I hope it will be important for them because of the message and affect of the movie.
The story is also about discus throwing. What do you think is the impact on throwers?
I think it has a direct impact on throwers. It puts lots of highlight on discus throwing which would hopefully raise the popularity of discus and throwing in Egypt, Middle East in general and in the countries in Europe where the movie will be distrubuted and played in cinemas.
You are one of those throwers who takes steps to highlight the event. Do you believe the throwing can be equal to running events?
Throwing can be equal to running events. But it needs a lot of work in media, inventments from rich throwers and throwing fans. Also a lot of work from throwers after they quit and also social networking. A lot of changes must be applied and it needs time. I have a long term plan that I´ll apply and invest into after London. I try to promote the sport that I love.
Let´s come back to your career. You got engaged last year with Estonian girl. How you are going to share your career between the Egypt and Estonia?
I shared my career between Estonia and Egypt before the engagement. The only difference is that I have someone next to me most of the time, which I really love. She is great and has a positive influence on me.
You were coached by Vésteinn Hafsteinsson for several years before Tammert came. Is it possible you return to his group?
Returning to his group is not my decision alone, it´s also his and only God knows what the future brings. Weather I train with him or not he knows how much I respect him and appreciate him and all the help he applied was fantastic. He is a great coach and also great in personal level.
Let´s look forward to the future of yours. Would you stay involved with throwing after your career?
After I quit throwing I will stay connected to it and promote and market it as much as I can.
What is your worst /best experience in your career?
Worst experience was getting injured before the Beijing Olympics and not making to the finals. Best experience was not breaking the World Junior Record, it was getting the 6th place at the World Championships in Osaka. I didn´t expect anything at that time.
What are the steps that throwers should take to popularize the events?
Throwers should first unite together, all top throwers, coaches,and fans with ideas. We should then agree on a marketing plan with short term and long term goals. Then we apply the plan. Maybe after Olympics I shout out a confrence! We just have to do our best for a better future for the sport we love.
What would be the effect?
In 10 to 15 years I want to watch all throwing meets on television, I want to see every single throw. I would like to see World Champion hosted by David Letterman. I would like to see that the average thrower who throws 60 – 61 or 19.30 – 20 in shot put gets payed well and have a good enough income to live from throwing.