UAE extends lead at inaugural Gulf Youth Games with 231 medals. GULF YOUTH GAMES

Emirati athletes continued their impressive showing at the inaugural Gulf Youth Games UAE 2024, adding 37 medals on day 12 - a new single-day record since the tournament began on 16 April and ends on 2 May. The total tally now stands at 231 medals, including 73 gold, 86 silver and 72 bronze.

Under the theme "Our Gulf is One... Our Youth is Promising", the event brings together 3,500 young athletes competing in 24 disciplines. Saudi Arabia won a total of 93 medals (40 gold-33 silver-20 bronze), Kuwait 89 (23-31-35), Bahrain 57 (19-15-23), Qatar 42 (17-10-15) and Oman 46 (17-10-19). 

On the opening day of the karate competitions, the UAE won 18 medals (five gold, seven silver and six bronze). Kuwait was close behind with 10 medals (3-1-6). Saudi Arabia finished third with six medals (2-2-2), while Qatar secured fourth place with one bronze. 

In the women's -48kg kumite, Malak Al Haj of the United Arab Emirates took first place, with her team-mate Sheikha Mohammed Johar second and Kuwait's Mona Mohammed Al Qattan third. In the women's -53kg kumite, Khadija Al Jasmi of the UAE and Malak Al Shammari of Kuwait shared second place, while Jana Al Omran of Saudi Arabia and Shatha Al Noubi of the Emirates tied for third. 

UAE's Mahra Al Balushi won the women's kumite -59 kg, followed by her compatriot Sheikha Al Ketbi and Haneen Ahmed Fakher of Kuwait in third place. Shamma Al Ketbi (UAE) won in the women's kumite -66 kg, with her teammate Hamda Al Balushi second and Zainab Al Kandari of Kuwait third. Tulay Abdullah (Kuwait) won the women's kumite +66 kg, with UAE's Sheikha Al-Yafei and Shamma Al-Yafei, second and third, respectively. 

Saudi Arabia's Saif Al-Qayed took first place in the men's kumite +76 kg, Yaqoub Abbas (UAE) won silver and Turki Sami (Kuwait) and Abdullah Al Ali (Qatar) shared bronze. Ali Muhammad Al-Ajmi of Kuwait topped the podium in the youth male -55 kg kumite, with Rayan Rashid of Saudi Arabia second, and Rashid Al-Saridi and Khalifa Al-Hajjaj of the UAE sharing third place. 

Judo is providing great competition with the UAE leading the way. GULF YOUTH GAMES
Judo is providing great competition with the UAE leading the way. GULF YOUTH GAMES

UAE's Rashid Salem took gold in the men's -61 kg kumite, Saudi Arabia's Mahdi Al-Munajim won silver and Kuwait's Fahd Al-Azmi shared bronze with Rashid Al-Zarouni from the host nation of the event. Kuwait's Musa Al-Mutairi was the best in the men's -68 kg kumite, with Abdullah Hassan Abdullah (UAE) second, and Mubarak Al-Kaabi (UAE) and Saad Al-Saif (Saudi Arabia) sharing third place. Abdullah Al-Qahtani of Saudi Arabia secured first place in the men's -76 kg kumite, followed by Ali Saleh Al-Balushi (UAE) and Salman Al-Harbi (Kuwait). 

In archery, the UAE had a notable success with three gold medals in the team competition at the Sharjah Police Club. The UAE team of Mayed Al Ketbi, Saeed Muhammad and Nasser Al Sidrani won gold in the U-18 men's recurve category, while Qatar took silver. 

The UAE also won the U-18 women's recurve event with Alia Saleh Al Ali, Amna Al Hammadi and Noura Al Mazmi, with Qatar taking silver. The UAE's third gold came in the U-15 women's recurve bow with Hoda Saleh Al-Ali, Marwa Omar Al-Sarkal and Arwa Al-Khudaimi beating Saudi Arabia. 

Matar Salem Al Rashidi, director of the UAE archery team, thanked the National Olympic Committee and stressed that these gold medals were "just the beginning of the local athletes' success". "Our goal is to win the maximum medals, especially gold, after the dominant performance of our team. We have a talented pool of players, both male and female, and the results are a testament to the efforts of the federation and the clubs," he remarked. 

UAE clinched four medals in judo (one gold and three silver) at the Mubadala Arena hall in Zayed Sports City, Abu Dhabi. Saif Al Hammadi won in the -60 kg category, while Mohammed Walid Al Naqbi added a silver in -50 kg, same as Hamid Saeed Al Shamsi in -55 kg and Ahmed Abdullah Al Zari in -66 kg. The Saudi team won two gold and one silver, while Kuwait took one gold and three bronze. 

On the final day of cycling competition at Al Hudayriat Island in Abu Dhabi, the UAE won two medals, gold and silver, in the youth individual time trial. Hareb Khamis Al Marzouqi secured gold in 25:21.83 over a distance of 20km. His compatriot Khaled Al Nuaimi was second by 31 seconds and Bahrain's Mahdi Hassan Jawad took bronce in 26:33.77. 

Emirati archers are delivering great performances. GULF YOUTH GAMES
Emirati archers are delivering great performances. GULF YOUTH GAMES

Mohammed Sanad Al Qubaisi, Vice President of the UAE Cycling Federation, praised the young riders for their outstanding performances and expressed his gratitude to the UAE National Olympic Committee and everyone involved in organizing the Gulf Youth Games, highlighting the positive feedback received from all delegations. "They were impressed by the professionalism of the organization and the extensive infrastructure," he said. 

Qatar shone on the opening day of the swimming competition at the Mohammed Bin Zayed Sports City Centre pool, winning a total of 11 medals (five gold, four silver and two bronze). Close on their heels was Kuwait, with eight medals (4-2-2), while Bahrain garnered six (4-2-0). Abdullah Al Wahaibi, of UAE Swimming Federation, commended the competitive spirit displayed, highlighted the emergence of promising talents across all participating teams and lauded the organization's adherence to high standards. 

In Dubai, Saudi Arabia won the electronic football competition after a thrilling final against the UAE, while Kuwait took bronze. Bahrain's Abdul Rahman Al-Hassan and Ahmed Al-Hallaq took gold and silver in the duathlon (running-cycling-running), while Qatar’s Jassim Al-Husseini finished third. 

Sheikh Abdullah Bin Majid Al Nuaimi, Director General of Ajman's Department of Civil Affairs, crowned the winners of the triathlon and duathlon events in the presence of Brigadier Khalid Mohammed Al Nuaimi, Deputy Commander-in-Chief of Ajman Police, Abdul Malik Jani, President of the UAE Triathlon Federation, and Mohammed Bin Darwish, Executive Director of the National Olympic Committee. 

Bahrain topped the table tennis medal table with three gold, two silver and three bronze medals. Qatar won three gold medals, Kuwait three silvers, the UAE four bronzes and Oman one bronze. 

Exciting matches on the first day of basketball 3×3. GULF YOUTH GAMES
Exciting matches on the first day of basketball 3×3. GULF YOUTH GAMES

Sheikha Hayat bint Abdulaziz Al Khalifa, Vice President of the Union of Arab NOC's and President of the Bahrain Table Tennis Federation, hosted the awards ceremony on the 12th day of the inaugural Gulf Youth Games. Also present from the UEA Table Tennis Federation were President Daoud Al Hajri, Vice President Ibrahim Al Assam, Secretary General Hassan Al Zarouni and Board of Directors member Majd Al Balushi, as well as Taha Bin Sulaiman Al-Koshari, Secretary General of the Oman NOC and Mohammed Abdullah Saleh, Secretary of the Qatar Table Tennis Federation. 

On the opening day of the 3x3 basketball tournament at the Al-Thiqa Club Hall for the Disabled in Sharjah, the Kuwaiti girls' team triumphed 18-6 over the UAE (A) and 21-5 over Saudi Arabia, who also lost 21-5 to Kuwait. The UAE A team bounced back with an 8-4 win over the UAE B team, who also lost 22-2 to Kuwait. Finally, Saudi Arabia continued their winning streak by beating UAE A 12-6. 

In the youth category, UAE A overcame Qatar 19-12, Kuwait showed their dominance with a 21-8 win over UAE B and UAE A narrowly beat Oman 18-7. Saudi Arabia also beat UAE B 21-12, Qatar also triumphed over Oman 21-11, while Kuwait narrowly edged out Saudi Arabia 20-19. Saudi Arabia continued their winning streak by defeating Oman 21-9 and Qatar secured another victory over UAE (B) with a score of 19-8. 

In the individual billiards (nine-ball), UAE's Mohammed Al Jasmi will face Saudi Arabia's Khaled Al Ghamdi in the semi-finals, with the winner advancing to the final against the winner of the match between Bahraini siblings Haider and Hussein Marum. 

The UAE excelled in the second round of golf at the Abu Dhabi Golf Club, posting an above-average score. This impressive performance added to their initial lead of 13 strokes from the first round, taking their cumulative total to 21 strokes. Oman maintained its second place with a total of 71 strokes (31 above average in the second round). Saudi Arabia held in third place, accumulating 100 strokes above average. UAE's Rayan Ahmed continued to dominate the individual standings with a remarkable score of three shots under par.