Contests at the fifth edition of the Arab Women Sports Tournament (AWST) will flag off tomorrow (Monday) in basketball, volleyball, Karate, and archery categories. The competitions schedule is being determined by draws being conducted by the tournament’s organisers, Sharjah Women’s Sports (SWS).
AWST 2020 sees the regional tournament’s largest participation yet, with 78 clubs from 18 Arab nations who will be competing for top spots across nine sports disciplines during the 10-day event which runs across world-class venues in Sharjah until February 12.
The Basketball draw on Saturday was held in the presence of Majdi Abu Fraikha, Head of the AWST Basketball technical committee; Brigadier General Abdullah Shalabi, Secretary General of the Arab Basketball Federation; and officials and delegations of participating clubs. Fierce contests are expected between participating teams, which are divided in two groups.
Group 1 includes the Egyptian Sporting Sports Club, Jordan’s Fuheis Youth Club, the Al Riffa Sports Club from Bahrain and Syria’s Al Sahel Sports Club. Group 2 will feature the Sharjah Women's Sports Club, Le Groupement sportif des pétroliers from Algeria, Tunisian 'Al Amal Sportif and Al Watan Al Qabali' club, the Al Fatat Sports Club from Kuwait, and Elite Athletes Club from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA).
The Samnan branch of the Sharjah Sports Club will turn into the battleground for the first three basketball matches of AWST 2020 to be held on Monday. Algeria will take on newcomers from KSA, while Egypt will try to secure their first tournament win against Syria. Finally, Tunisia will lock horns with Kuwait.
Nine Arab clubs will be competing for the top spots in volleyball with three games scheduled on Monday at SWS. The first one will bring together Tunisian 'Al Amal Sportif and Al Watan Al Qabali' and Al Ahli Club from Bahrain, while Al Wasl Sports Club will go face-to-face with Jordanian De La Salle Club. UAE’s Sharjah Women's Sports Club will face the Princess Noura University Sports Club from KSA.
The volleyball draws were made in the presence of Jihad Hassan Khalfan, Secretary General of Arab Volleyball Federation; Youssef Mohamed Al Mulla, President of the UAE Volleyball Association; and Nabeel Ashour, Chairman of AWST’s Technical Follow-up Committee
Sharjah’s Al Thiqah Club for Handicapped will be the venue for archery competitions, which will see the participation of 15 sportswomen from five Arab clubs. These include UAE’s Sharjah Women's Sports Club, Al Bahrain Club, Riyadh Club, Al Neel Sports Club from Sudan, and Iraq’s Police Sports Club, which includes athletes who’ve qualified for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
During the draw meeting attended by Dr. Ali Jabr, Vice President of World Archery Federation and Adel Rajai, Head of AWST’s Archery Technical Committee, it was announced that clubs from Algeria and the UAE withdrew their participation from AWST 2020. The attendees reiterated AWST’s inclusion of archery competitions and its rules and regulations qualifies sportswomen to take part in international and continental championships.
Additionally, AWST’s referee committee held a meeting with all AWST 2020 referees, in the presence of a number of local referees as well as those who have come in from other countries participating in the tournament.
Yesterday (Sunday), the technical committee announced the participation of eight sportswomen representing five clubs split into two groups in the kata (forms) category, which will witness individual category competitions. Three contestants from each group will qualify for the finals. The clubs being represented in the kata category are Sharjah Women's Sports Club, Egypt’s Al Ahli Bank Club, the Asia Arts Center Club and Dojo Vitality Zone Fitness Club from KSA, and Kuwait’s Al Fatat Sports Club.
The Kumite (sparring) individual and group competitions will see sportswomen from eight clubs competing for top spots. The competition is split into five weight categories, namely, Under 50 kg, Under 55 kg, Under 61 kg, Under 68 kg, and finally, 68 kg and above. The participating clubs include all clubs that are represented in the kata competitions in addition to Algeria’s Bi’r Al Touteh Club, Boom Fitness Sport Club from Bahrain and Al Nasr Cultural & Sport Club from the UAE.
The karate draws were held in the presence of Ibrahim Al Gannas, President of the Arab Karate Federation; Nabil Ashour, Chairman of AWST’s technical follow-up committee; Ayoub Al Shukri, Chairman of AWST technical committee; and officials and delegations representing participating clubs.