The Arab Women Sports Tournament (AWST), organised by Sharjah Women’s Sports (SWS) concluded on Wednesday with the final basketball and volleyball competitions being held in packed stadiums.
The curtain fell on the 10-day event which ran under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher Bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, Wife of His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah and Chairperson of SWS, which saw the participation of a record 78 clubs from 18 Arab countries competing for the top spots in nine sporting categories: shooting, basketball, volleyball, table tennis, athletics, show jumping, fencing, archery and karate.
A closing ceremony was held at SWS after the conclusion of the basketball championship match, at which the best performing clubs and athletes were honoured.
Reliving AWST’s 2018 basketball championship match, Jordan’s Fuheis Youth Club stepped into Sharjah Women’s Sports basketball court determined to snatch the trophy from Egypt’s Sporting Sports Club. They kept the entire audience on their feet throughout the four quarters of the match.
The first quarter ended 18-15 for the Jordanian club. However, the previous title holders were able to secure the second quarter, 17-15. The Egyptian team continued their pace and secured the third quarter too,14-13, and proceeded into the final quarter with a comfortable 7-point lead against the Jordanian team. However, determined not to relive the previous tournament’s championship match, the Fuheis Youth Club picked up their pace and flipped the course of the game securing the title with a 2-point lead in the last 6 seconds of the match. The Jordanian team won the title with a 15-13 in the final quarter, 61-59 at the final whistle.
Meanwhile, in the second basketball game to determine the third and fourth positions, Tunisia’s Al Amal Sportif and Al Watan Al Qabali took on Algeria’s Le Groupement Sportif des Pétroliers. The Tunisian athletes placed third, securing the first two quarters,16-10 and 22-8, and the fourth quarter, 22-18, with a final score of 70-58. The Algerian team won the third quarter 22-10 and were relegated to the fourth place.
Egypt’s Sporting Sports Club was again in the eye of the storm while battling for the volleyball championship title with Algeria's Le Groupement Sportif des Pétroliers in an epic match.
Both teams fought tooth and nail for their points in the match held at the packed stadium at the Sharjah Sports Club, Samnan branch. The first set was snatched by the Algerian team, 25-21, before the tides turned and the Egyptian team topped up the second set with 25-17 points.
The third set kept everyone on the edge of their seats as both teams were tied until the final minute when the Algerian team snatched two points and secured the set, 26-24. With one more set required for the Algerian team, they kicked off the final stretch to their advantage and kept a safe distance in the lead despite the relentless efforts of the Egyptian team to control the set.
The final set ended 25-14, with a total score of 93-84 at the final whistle sending Le Groupement Sportif des Pétroliers home with the championship trophy.
Sharjah Women’s Sports Club topped the list of participating clubs in winning medals. The local team clinched a total of 40 medals: 13 gold, 13 silver and 14 bronze. Al Ahli Club from Bahrain came in second place with 13 gold, 4 silver and 1 bronze medal. Bahrain Club came in third place after bagging 4 gold, 6 silver and 7 bronze medals.
Trophies and honours
At the closing ceremony held on Wednesday at SWS, the participating clubs and athletes were honoured for their achievements. The ‘Best Cheerleader Cup’ went to Bahraini Sharifa for her outstanding support for her country’s participating teams, while ‘Best Audience Cup’ went to Syrian crowds.
The Arab Volleyball Association won the best Arab sports union trophy, while the UAE Volleyball Federation received the best local sports union award. The Fair Play Cup went to KSA’s volleyball team, while the tournament’s Supremacy Cup and Excellence Cup both went to Sharjah Women’s Sports Club.
Best performing athletes in volleyball athletes were also honoured, with Algeria’s Le Groupement Sportif des Pétroliers player Kahina Shatot receiving the best playmaker in the tournament. Fellow teammate Zohara bin Salem was honoured as the second-best player. Nermin Ismail from Egypt’s Sporting Sports Club was honoured as the third best player. SWS Club athlete Nadwa Al Sowan was adjudged the second best in the same position. In basketball, Egypt’s Sporting Sports Club athlete Hajar Amer was honoured as the best player in the tournament.