SHARJAH // The Algerian Youth Club topped the medals table at the third Arab Women’s Sports Tournament, which proved a roaring success this past week.
The club won nine gold, five silver and three bronze medals during the 10-day event at Sharjah.
Bahrain’s Al Hala Club came a close second, two silver medals shy of the Algerian club’s total, followed by the hosts, Sharjah Ladies Club, who finished with a haul of three gold, 11 silver and 11 bronze medals.
The Sharjah Ladies Club ended their campaign with a gold medal-winning performance in basketball on the final day.
They defeated Jordanian Orthodox Club in the final 66-42, and the Egyptian Sporting Club bagged the bronze by defeating the Algerian Olympic team 67-43 in the play-off.
The competition drew 58 clubs from 18 countries competing in basketball, volleyball, table tennis, fencing, archery, shooting, athletics and show jumping, which was added to the list this year.
“The tournament was wonderfully organised and provided the opportunity for the Arab women to take part in various sporting competitions,” said Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed Al Qasimi, head of AWST’s supreme organising committee.
“The main objective of the AWST is to promote and develop sports among Arab women and also provide them with a stepping stone before going into the next level.”
Sheikha Hayat bint Abdulaziz Al Khalifa, board member of the Bahrain Olympic Committee and head of AWST’s supervisory and follow-up committee, said the tournament was also about leading a healthy lifestyle.
“The tournament is designed to contribute to the development of Arab women’s sport,” Sheikha Hayat said. “We want to encourage every girl, woman and mother to exercise and take part in physical activities for a healthy lifestyle.
“We are looking forward to seeing more Arab female athletes compete globally as a result of AWST particularly because this is the only exclusively Arab women’s sports tournament held at this scale.”
Plans are already under way to stage the next AWST in 2018 with major improvements from the one that has just concluded, according to Nada Al Naqbi, deputy head of the supreme organising committee.
“We have several recommendations that we are very positive of taking forward for the next staging of this event,” Al Naqbi said. “This event is still at a development stage but we are confident its catching up fast among the women athletes in the Arab world.”
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