Sharjah: Omani teenager Jana Mohamed Al Sharjya and Esraa Seif showcased their immense talents to halt the dominating show by UAE fencers in the seventh edition of the Arab Women Sports Tournament on Saturday.
A glittering opening ceremony kick-started the event at Al Majaz Amphitheatre in Sharjah on Friday with Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher Bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, Wife of His Highness Dr Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, Chairperson of Sharjah Women’s Sports (SWS), officially inaugurating the much-anticipated Arab Women Sports Tournament.
The sabre, épée and foil events at Sharjah Women Sports drew some of the finest fencing talents from across the Arab world, highlighting the exceptional talents on display. The UAE fencers brought glory to the hosts, with Mahra Abdullah bagging the gold while Asila Darwish and Sheikha Youssef settled for the silver.
But the two Omani teenagers stole the limelight by overcoming a strong challenge from the UAE fencers.
At just 13 years old, Jana Mohammed has already amassed an impressive tally of 13 gold medals, a shining beacon of her burgeoning career since 2020. Jana Mohamed clinched the épée individual gold medal after an intense tussle with Emirati Sheikha Youssef, who had to settle for silver. Syrian Afrodet Hatem Hatem and Omani Esraa Seif shared the third place.
“The journey to this point has been fuelled by immense effort from both my family and coaches,” Jana said, acknowledging the support system behind her success. She said her swift ascent in the sport is driven by a relentless pursuit of excellence and rapid development, with a laser focus on clinching the top spot in every competition.
Esraa Seif gave Oman the second gold after another intense match with UAE’s Hamda Ahmed, who won the silver in individual foil. Emirati Kadija Hamdan and Bahraini Somia Khaled share third place.
The 15-year-old Esraa Seif shared her own story of dedication and triumph. Having embarked on her fencing journey from the sport’s inception in her home country, she boasts a substantial collection of medals from various national and international competitions. “Standing on the podium fills me with pride, especially for Omani girls,” she said, adding that her eyes were fixed on the Olympic Games.
UAE’s Mahra Abdullah Malla clinched the sabre individual gold after defeating her teammate Asila Darwish, who took home the silver medal. Syrian fencers Mary Aqsm and Haneen Elhamood finished in third place.
Commenting on the win, 20-year-old Mahra Abdullah from the Fujairah Martial Arts Club said she’s excited to secure her first title, “This gold medal marks a pivotal milestone in my career.”
Mahra’s journey in fencing began under the guidance of her younger sister. However, the first title has soared her aspirations and now dreams of an Olympic glory.
Bahraini sharpshooter Moza Abdulrahim clinched the gold medal in the 10-metre Air Pistol Individuals, marking a stellar start to the shooting competitions at Al Dhaid Shooting Club in Sharjah on Sunday.
In a tense finale, Moza secured her victory in a closely fought contest with Kuwait’s Ghezlan Hassan. The Bahraini had a final score of 234.3 points, edging out the Kuwaiti, who finished with a commendable 231.9 points to take the silver. The bronze medal was awarded to Oman’s Wadha Albalushi after securing 210.9 points.
The team qualifiers saw an intense battle for supremacy, with Kuwaiti shooters Ghezlan Hassan, Asraa Bahman, and Athari Alblushi leading the pack with a combined score of 1647.26 points. The Iraqi trio of Fatima Abbas, Noor Mohammad, and Aya Khaldon follow closely in second place with 1644.27 points, demonstrating high competition among the participating nations.
Securing third place were the Omani shooters Suhair AlJahmani, Wadha Albalushi, and Huria Alyahyaai, who scored 1637.27 points. The Bahraini team, consisting of Mooza Abdulrahim, Aysha Helal Albaraiki, and Badriya Ibrahim, followed closely in fourth place with a combined score of 1630.30 points.
UAE’s Sharjah Women’s Sports Club got off to a winning start in volleyball at Khor Fakkan on Sunday, defeating Syrian Taldara SC with an impressive 75-53 win. The hosts maintained their consistency through of the three-set, winning the first two sets with identical scores of 25-21 and sealing their triumph with an impressive 25-11 win in the third. Kuwait’s Salwa Al Sabah wasted no time to outwit Jordan’s De La Salle 75-41.
On Saturday, Egypt’s Sporting Club squared off against the UAE’s Fatima Bint Mubarak Academy in an enthralling three-set game that captured the audience’s attention from the outset. The Egyptian team, demonstrating a blend of strategic prowess and athletic excellence, clinched the contest 75-34, while Lebanese Byblos eased past Iraq’s Akad Ankawa 75-57.
The seventh edition features the participation of 560 athletes and 63 teams from 15 Arab countries, competing across eight sports until February 12.
The opening ceremony featured a short film highlighting all aspects of the tournament and its objectives. In addition, there was a taekwondo sports demonstration performed by 20 Korean athletes from the Korean Taekwondo Federation, along with artistic light shows celebrating AWST.