Dubai: Moroccan men made a clean sweep of the podium in the Open category of the Nad Al Sheba Sports Tournament 10km Run on Wednesday night, while Saleh Al Hammadi and Mouza Al Ghafli took the men’s and women’s honour in the Amateur Emirati category.
Anouar El Ghouz, winner of the NAS Run 10km Open category title in 2019, was on cruise control again on Wednesday night, finishing well ahead of his two Moroccan compatriots with a time of 30:2.229. Abdelali Bouazzaoui (30:27.829) was second to cross the line, followed by Brahim Slimani (30:48.095), while the Emirati duo of Mubarak Al Marashda (31:08.193) and Saleh Al Suwaidi (31:57.042) brought up the top five.
The Open Women’s 10K run also witnessed a repeat winner with 2019 champion Betlhem Desalegn Belayneh cruising to the title in 35:24.691, which was more than five minutes quicker than Great Britain’s Stephanie Humphrey (40:40.883), while Frenchwoman Latifa Essarokh finished third in 41:07.854.
In the Amateur Emirati Men’s category, Saleh Al Hammadi clocked 34:51.714 to finish ahead of Rashid Al Blooshi (35:52.620) and Mohsen Hassan Mohammed (36:05.769), while in the Amateur Emirati Women’s race, Al Ghafli was a comfortable winner in 44:00.286, with Maryam Al Awadhi (48:39.677) and Huda Al Nuaimi (53:44.901) were second and third.
The winners each of the four categories receive Dh10,000, while the runners-up will take home Dh7,000 and the third places will get Dh5,000 each. Delighted with his win, El Ghouz said the “tough competition” and “humidity” had made it a difficult night for him and everyone else, but “the desire to win the NAS title” saw him overcome all the challenges.
“In the final two kilometres, it got really difficult, but I worked hard on my rhythm and tried to focus on winning the race and nothing else,” he said. “There was great pressure and the competition was tough, but I am happy I could get past every challenge and win this title once again.”
Organised by Dubai Sports Council, the NAS Sports Tournament has been one of the top sporting attractions during since 2013, and the eighth season of the tournament was organised in compliance with all COVID-19 precautionary measures and protocols.