Sports of Syria
The most popular sport by far is football (soccer). However, although the Syrian football team performs reasonably well at the regional level, they have never passed beyond the qualifying stage of the World Cup.
Syrian wrestlers and weightlifters fare much better. At the 2009 Mediterranean Games, Syria won 12 medals: 2 gold (weightlifting), 3 silver (wrestling), and 7 bronze (wrestling, weightlifting, karate, boxing and judo). Also in 2009, the Syrian women cyclists won one bronze and two gold medals at the Arab Cycling Championships. At the 2004 Olympics in Athens, the heavyweight boxer Nasser al-Shami won a bronze medal. The only Olympic gold medal was won in the heptathlon by a woman, Ghada Shouaa. After becoming World Champion in 1995 in Gothenburg, she won a gold medal at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta.
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