Al Nasr clinch U-14 water polo President’s Cup national championship

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Hosts Al Wasl came second followed by defending champs Al Jazeera in bronze position.

By Moni Mathews

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Published: Tue 19 May 2015, 2:03 PM

Last updated: Thu 14 Dec 2023, 4:25 PM

Dubai — Al Nasr clinched the under 14 water polo President’s Cup national championship during the weekend at the Al Wasl pool in Dubai.

Hosts Al Wasl came second followed by defending champs Al Jazeera in bronze position.

Former Serbian ace and veteran international coach Nicolas Radojicic, the current UAE senior national water polo team coach, said: “The level of the wonderful championship and the amazing progress of all the teams shown during the weekend gave us the a glimpse of the vast improvements made by youngsters in the sport in the country.

“There are today so many young hands eager and keen to develop their skills further. The desire of the young boys and parents in building up the federation’s ambitions to form a Emirati strong team is very strong.”

He added: “The U-14 tournament produced a new bunch of young players and now there are three solid groups for the under 12,14 and 16 categories. The fierce rivalry between Al Jazeera, Al Wasl and Al Nasr with Al Nasr finishing strongly show signs that water polo is growing in popularity among the nationals.”

The U-14 tournament also saw the Arabic Culture Club and Sport Life Water Polo Academy take part in the three-day event.

The championship was held in a league system, where Al Nasr tied with Al Wasl in the final standings but a higher goal difference saw the Blues pip the hosts in the event which is in its second year running.

Mohammed Abdul Karim, technical director of Al Nasr Academy, said: “The outstanding level of the team was expected and we are not very surprised by the achievement of coach Mustafa Al Saleh and his bunch of trainees at the club.”

Al Wasl water polo coach Rashid AlMas, said: “We are quite satisfied with our silver standing after a close race, losing the title only on goal difference.

“We appreciate the big improvement of the Al Nasr team and they have become a new force in water polo here with not just Al Wasl and Al Jazeera finishing on top.”

He added: “The development of the sport is well taken care of now thanks to the many age group competitions organised by the federation.”

UAE Swimming Federation board member Obaid Al Kaabi who is in charge of water polo activities, said: “The development of water polo in the UAE and the change of status through the years from just being a an extension of the swimming activities to becoming a very competitive sport with a good number of spectators is quite appreciable.

“More teams are involved with the national age group events here being held on a consistent basis and this speaks well of the future for the national senior side which will have a solid nursery to depend on.”

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