Aya Medany

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Aya Medany
Personal information
Full name Aya Mahmoud Medany
Nationality Egyptian
Born (1988-11-20) 20 November 1988 (age 28)
Cairo, Egypt
Height 1.71 m (5 ft 7 12 in)
Weight 64 kg (141 lb)
Country  Egypt
Sport Modern Pentathlon
Turned pro 2004
Retired 2013
Achievements and titles
Olympic finals 2004 Athens – 28th
2008 Beijing – 8th
2012 London – 16th

Aya Medany (Arabic: آیة مدني‎‎; born November 20, 1988) is an Egyptian modern pentathlete. She made her Olympic début at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece, as the youngest competitor both in the Egyptian team and competing in the pentathlon.


Medany made her Olympic debut at the 2004 Summer Olympics at the age of 15. She was the youngest on the Egyptian team and the youngest out of any of the athletes competing in the pentathlon. She finished in 28th place overall.[1]

She won the Olympic test event in Beijing, China, meaning that she qualified for the 2008 Summer Olympics.[2] She went into the Olympics competing once more for Egypt after conducting pre-games training in South Korea.[1][3] The pentathlon event was due to take place on the final day of the Games, and as Egypt had only won a single bronze medal up until that point, she was highlighted as a potential medal winner towards the end of the Games despite having only placed in the top three of junior competitions prior to that point. However on the day, Medany found the horse she was randomly assigned for the riding part of the pentathlon was unwieldy, resulting her in finishing in eighth place overall. She later said of the media response, "They put everything on the riding being bad, and me needing an improvement in riding. It wasn't really my fault."[1]

She won the World Cup event held in Százhalombatta, Budapest in 2011, ahead of the Olympic champion Lena Schoneborn and British athlete Mhairi Spence who finished in third place.[4] She is due to compete in the 2012 Summer Olympics in London following her qualification at the 2011 African Championships in Alexandria where she won the women's individual title.[1][5][6]

In March 2013 she announced retirement.[7]

Personal life[edit]

Medany began wearing a hijab after the 2008 Summer Olympics, despite the fact she says it gives her a disadvantage whilst running. She is considering retirement from the sport following the 2012 Summer Olympics due to the ban on full-body swimsuits imposed by the swimming federation FINA, which Pentathlon takes its swimming rules from. Medany wants to swim in an outfit conforming to the Muslim faith, while the swimming requirements state that outfits "shall not cover the neck, extend past the shoulder, nor extend below the knee".[1]

Her father Mahmoud Medany was a member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change which won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007 alongside Al Gore.[1][8] She works as a teacher assisting at the Arab Academy for Science and Technology and Maritime Transport. Her family refused to allow her to attend the rallies in Tahrir Square during the 2011 Egyptian revolution.[1]

On February 7, 2015, in an interview on Egypt TV channel Capital Broadcast Center(CBC), Medany wrongly claimed she was the world champion.

Career highlights[edit]


2nd Youth World Championship, Budapest, Hungary


1st Youth World Championship, Leon Gu, Mexico


1st Youth World Championship, Albena, Bulgaria
28th Olympic Games, Athens, Greece


2nd Junior World Championship, Moscow, Russia
2nd Youth World Championship, Pilsen, Czech Republic


1st World Cup #2, Milfield, United Kingdom
1st Junior World Championship, Shanghai, China
1st Youth World Championship, Popoli-Sulmona, Italy
1st World Cup #5, Cairo, Egypt
3rd USA Open Championships, Colorado, USA


1st African Championship, Cairo, Egypt
3rd World Cup #2, Cairo, Egypt
1st World Cup Final, Beijing, China


2nd World Cup #3, Millfield, United Kingdom
1st World Cup #5, Kladno, Czech Republic
2nd Senior World Championship, Budapest, Hungary
1st Junior World Championships, Cairo, Egypt
8th Olympic Games, Beijing, China


1st World Cup #1 Mexico City, Mexico
2nd World Cup #2, Cairo, Egypt
1st World Cup #4, Rome, Italy
1st Junior World Championships (individual), Kaoshiung, Chinese Taipei
2nd Junior World Championships (Team relay), Kaoshiung, Chinese Taipei


3rd World Cup #2, Cairo, Egypt


1st World Cup #3, Budapest, Hungary



  1. ^ a b c d e f g Williams, Ollie (31 May 2012). "London 2012: Aya Medany struggles with sport & religion". BBC Sport. Retrieved 5 June 2012. 
  2. ^ "Solid display by Spence in China". BBC Sport. 16 September 2007. Retrieved 5 June 2012. 
  3. ^ "Aya Medany hopes to win modern pentathlon in Beijing". China.org.cn. 22 July 2008. Retrieved 5 June 2012. 
  4. ^ "Aya Medany wins pentathlon gold at World Cup in Hungary". Global Times. 8 May 2011. Retrieved 5 June 2012. [permanent dead link]
  5. ^ "London 2012 Olympic Pentathletes Announced". Pentathlon.org. 1 June 2012. Retrieved 5 June 2012. [permanent dead link]
  6. ^ "Egypt's Aya Medany wins gold in African pentathlon meet". English.news.cn. 24 July 2011. Retrieved 5 June 2012. 
  7. ^ Mosselhi, Mohammad (14 March 2013). "Pentathlon: Aya Medany announces retirement". ahram.org.eg. Retrieved 31 January 2014. 
  8. ^ a b "Athlete Profile: Aya Medany". Pentathlon.org. Archived from the original on 4 June 2012. Retrieved 5 June 2012. 

External links[edit]