Fencers in action during the NAS Fencing Championship on Monday.
Kuwait’s Abdulaziz Al Shatti won a gold and a bronze in the NAS Fencing Championship, while Egypt’s Alaaeldin Abouelkassem – the first Arab and African fencer to win a medal at the Olympics when he returned home with a men’s foil silver from the 2012 London Games – had to settle for a silver in the foil final after losing to Dutchman Daniel Giacon.
Shatti, who participated at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games under the Olympic flag due to Kuwait’s suspension, defeated Libyan Khalid Buhdeima 14-13 for gold in the Men’s Epee International final at the Nad Al Sheba Sports Complex on Monday night, and clinched bronze in the Men’s Foil International with a 15-10 verdict over Egypt’s Abdelrahman Haffour.
In the final of the Men’s Foil International, Abouelkassem, 28, had a two-point lead over his Dutch opponent, but Giacon fought back to edge the duel 14-13. The Egyptian, however, had no regrets and described his participation in the Nad Al Sheba Sports Tournament as a great preparation for the tournaments ahead.
“I am really pleased to participate in the NAS Sports Tournament for the second time,” said Abouelkassem.
“Given the quality of the opponents present here, including a couple of top international players, I believe this tournament is a really good preparation for the season ahead, especially since it is taking place only a few days before the Grand Prix in Shanghai from May 17-19.”
Abouelkassem, who is a winner of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Creative Sports Award, saluted the role of Dubai and UAE in the development of Arab sports through “pioneering initiatives like the MBR Creative Sports Award, winning which is a goal of every Arab athlete.
Anchored by Veera Pandian, Titans Cricket Club won a tense low-scoring duel with ASR-Meritorious to book their ticket to the quarter-final of the NAS Cricket T10 Championship at the Wombats Cricket Ground in Jebel Ali.
The Titans, who had defeated Abu Dhabi Cricket Lads by 10 wickets in their opening Pool 6 game with Sheridan Hadfield smashing a 29-ball 101, struggled chasing a modest target on Monday night after restricting ASR-Meritorious to 83 for 3. The target could have been lower, but R Ashwin (49 not out: 28b, 4x4s, 4x6s) plundered 22 runs from Atif Khan’s final over of the innings.
The Titans lost their first wicket with only 3 runs on the board and Hadfield (13) departed 15 runs later, leaving No3 Pandian to lead the chase as wickets kept falling at the other end. Pandian himself was run-out off the last ball of a dramatic 9th over, in which the Titans lost three wickets for 6 runs, but his 22-ball vigil of 32 (3x4s, 2x6s) had taken the Titans to within 3 runs of victory, and they got them through byes in R Subramaniam’s final over.
In the other games of the night, Salman Cool Boys defeated Rising Star Cricket Club by 23 runs to stay in the hunt for a quarter-final spot from Pool 7.
The Cool Boys, whose opening game against Hamriya Kings was abandoned due to dense fog on Thursday night, posted 136 for 6 on the board with Muzamil Qasim being the star of their batting effort, smashing a 19-ball 48 (5x4s, 4x6s).
The Rising Stars came bolting off the blocks in the chase and had 81 on the board in 5.5 overs, but then three wickets in the space of 15 deliveries, for the addition of only 12 runs, turned the tide and the Rising Stars were eventually restricted to 113 for 5.
In the NAS Volleyball Championship play-off for third place, Bin Thani cruised to a straight-sets 25-21, 25-21, 25-19 win over Fohood Zabeel, with their foreign professional duo of Moroccan Zuhair Al Karawai (18 points) and Mohammed Sheikhi (16) leading the scoring charts.
The ninth edition of the Maktoum Bin Rashid Ramadan Football Championship begins at the Dubai Police Club on Friday. 19 teams are taking part in the tournament held in Holy Ramadan since 2011 in the memory of late Sheikh Maktoum Bin Rashid Al Maktoum.
Dubai Crown Prince and Chairman of the Dubai Sports Council His Highness Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum attended the competitions for individuals at the Nad Al Sheba (NAS) Night Challenge Championship held as part of the NAS Sports Tournament 2019 under the theme ‘Limitless Abilities’ with total prizes exceeding Dhs6 million.
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