?The Second Arab Women’s Sports Tournament got underway yesterday (Feb. 2) to a rousing start in Sharjah, in the UAE with more than 900 athletes from 14 countries taking part.
Athletes from the UAE, Qatar, Bahrain, Palestine, Oman, Kuwait, Jordan, Egypt, and Iraq are set to compete at various locations throughout Sharjah in a range of both traditional and modern sports.
Yesterday’s opening ceremony for the tournament was held at the Sharjah Ladies Club in Sharjah under the patronage of Sharjah Ruler wife Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher Bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, Chairperson of the Supreme Council for Family Affairs,
It was attended by high-ranking sports officials from all over the Arab region, including Bahrain Olympic Committee member and tournament Coordination and Follow Up Committee head Shaikha Hayat bint Abdulaziz Al Khalifa.
This year marks the second edition, which welcomes almost double the number participants from the previous event, from across the Arab world to compete in basketball, volleyball, table tennis, shooting, and athletics as well as this year’s addition of fencing and archery.
Meanwhile, Bahrain teams have finalised their preparations ahead of the tournament, with Al Shabab Club athletics squad set to compete today in a number of athletic events from 4.30pm onwards.
Maryam Al Ansari and Basma Mohammed Abdo will both compete in the shot put event at 4.30pm, then Hajfer Saad and Faten Abdulla line up in the 100m final at 4.45pm. All athletics events will take place on Al Thiqah Club track.
Al Shabab Club coach Khalid Juma said all his athletes have reached good stage of physical and technical preparations and they expressed confidence in the team abilities to fight for podium.
Bahrain will also begin their quest today in the table tennis event, where Bahrain Club take on Algeria’s Al Riyadi Club at 9pm at the Higher College of Technology Gym in Sharjah.
Kaltham Elyasi, Fatma Al Qassmi, Nadeem Al Khodar and Korean professional Mengo will be spearheading the Bahrain team, managed by head coach Boris Banicek, in tonight’s tough tie.
Other events for Bahrain on the first day of the tournament are basketball, fencing and shooting.
The basketball team, who played their opening game late yesterday against Sharjah Ladies Club, will take on Jordan’s Contractors Club today at 3pm at Sharjah Ladies Club Gym.
In fencing, the Bahrain Fencing Club begin their campaign today with four players – Maryam Mohamed, Muna Qassim, Sara Khalil and Thajba Ghareeb in the fray in the Floret event.
As for the shooting championship, the Bahrain Shooting Club team are lined up for the 10m air pistol competition starting this morning at Shrajah Ladies Club’s shooting range, where 10 teams from across the Arab region are taking part.
Bahrain is also competing in volleyball tournament, where they are being represented by Al Ahli Club.
Al Ahli, who arrived in Sharjah on Saturday, had their first training session yesterday at Al Andalus School Gym. The Bahraini team training was joined by their recently-signed American professional Ruth Cay.
They will have their second practice today at the same gym to finalise their preparations under national basketball tactician Abduljalil Al Aradi.
Bahrain is sending five teams to compete in five different disciplines during the 10-day tournament, to be held in Sharjah for the second time. The first edition was held in 2012.