African runners dominate at Nad Al Sheba Sports Tournament

In the 10km men's open race, Ethiopia's Dagne Tesfu Demsie took the top honours ahead of Anouar El Ghouz and Noaman El Assaoui

By Team KT

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Participants at the start of the race. — Supplied photo
Participants at the start of the race. — Supplied photo

Published: Sun 17 Mar 2024, 8:40 PM

The best of running talent from across the globe was on offer as African athletes, especially from Morocco and Ethiopia, dominated the road races of the 11th Nad Al Sheba Sports Tournament on Saturday.

In the 10km men’s open race, Ethiopia’s Dagne Tesfu Demsie took the top honours ahead of the Moroccan pair of Anouar El Ghouz and Noaman El Assaoui, while Morocco’s Wafa Zarouai won the women’s 10km race ahead of Ethiopia’s Fanos Tekle and Great Britain’s Kate Jordan.

The men’s 10km witnessed a close battle, but it was Demsie who won the race with a time of 27.50 minutes, just nine seconds ahead of El Ghouz as El Assaoui (28.05 minutes) finished third.

In the women’s 10km category, Zarouai was a clear winner in a time of 34.36 minutes, leaving Ethiopian challenger Tekle in second in a time of 36.49 minutes, while Jordan was a distant third in a time of 37.28 minutes.

The 10km runs for UAE men and women were equally competitive with Khalid Khalil Al Bedwawi and Ruqayya Mohammed Al Marzooqi clinching top honours.

Al Bedwawi was the clear winner with a time of 30.12 minutes, finishing ahead of Khalifa Al Nuaimi (30.33 minutes) and Obaid Al Nuaimi (30.46 minutes), while Al Marzooqi won with a time of 41.06 minutes, leaving Alya Obaid Al Shamsi (43.01 minutes) and Fatima Al Shamsi (43.23 minutes) in second and third places, respectively.

The 5km open races for men and women also witnessed some fierce battles with Morocco’s Amine Souida (14.57 minutes) clinching top honours ahead of Uganda’s Julius Kyasanku (15.14 minutes) and Gwidi Grace (15.20 minutes) of Algeria in the men’s open top-3.

In the women’s 5km open race, a dominant run by Liesbeth Verheyden (17.47 minutes) saw her finish comfortably clear of Romanian Alisa Petrova (18.02 minutes) and Ida Mathilde Rubens Steensgaard (18.32 minutes).

Meanwhile, the Padel competition also concluded with some noteworthy performances from teams and players. The fight for superiority in the teams contest ended with the Netherlands emerging champions following a 2-0 win against Kuwait in Saturday’s final.

The UAE’s quest for at least a bronze medal ended as Iran walked away with a 2-0 result against the hosts in the fight for third place.

Former UAE players Alia Abdulla Taher and Fatma Al Janahi teamed up to win the women’s crown. In the semifinals, Alia and Fatma first secured a 6-0, 6-1 win against Sara Bin Kazim and Shaikha Al Janahi, while Fatma Shahdoor and Maryam Shahdoor won 6-3, 6-3 against Mariya Ibrahim Bin Karam and Aisha Shahdoor.

Then in the final, it was nearly one-way going with Alia and Fatma walking away easy winners 6-2, 6-1 against Fatma and Maryam Shahdoor.


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