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Gulf Youth Games preparations for hosts UAE on good pace

The Karate teams in Kata and Kumite categories are up to speed in training
3 Apr 2024 23:50

With the inaugural edition of the Gulf Youth Games approaching, teams from the UAE in various disciplines are ramping up their training, determined to shine on home soil.

Hosted by the UAE from April 16 to May 2, the Gulf Youth Games, a multi-sport event featuring 3,500 male and female athletes from across the GCC, will take place under the theme "Our Gulf is One... Our Youth is Promising". Many sporting federations have firmed up the composition of the athletes eligible to participate.

The UAE Athletics Federation named a 46-member contingent of male and female players combined on Tuesday. The athletes have been training at Al Wasl Club and Dubai Police Officers' Club.

On Wednesday, Sheikh Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan, President of the Emirates E-sports Federation, confirmed that the participants for the Games have been selected, after holding qualifying tournaments, to determine the best levels of the players.

About 180 players participated in the qualifying events. The players will be pooled into teams. He explained that the UAE is participating in the Gulf Youth Games with three teams, including the E-sports football team, Valorant team, and Street Fighter team.

The President of the Emirates E-sports Federation pointed out that the best players representing the three teams have been selected and prepared in a high-level technical manner to achieve the aspirations of e-sports fans in the UAE. He emphasised that everyone is taking it very seriously to make a good first impression at the inaugural Games.

Meanwhile, the Karate technical staff has selected 22 players to represent the national team at the Games in the Kata and Kumite categories for boys and girls.

Ahmed Salem Basaleeb, Team Director, said: "This is the first regional competition of its kind for this group of players in the UAE, and it's happening right here in the country. Our national teams are aiming high – we want to compete in every category and become the champions of the Gulf."

He said that the preparations were staggered in three stages with the first one already over. The second phase started on Wednesday and will run through April 8 while the final stage will be held in the Eid break at Sharjah Sports Club from April 12 to 23.

The actual competition will be held at Sharjah Club's Al Hazzana branch. Mohammed Abbas, Executive Director of the UAE Karate Federation, member of World Karate Federation Technical Committee, and Chairman of the Karate Technical Committee at the Gulf Youth Games, confirmed readiness to host the tournament's competitions as a chance to compete in a prestigious tournament and strengthen inter-Gulf relations.

"The UAE national team consistently excels on the podiums," Abbas said. "With the participation of teams from Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, the competition will be tough, reaching Asian levels.

"We anticipate a 90% chance of clinching gold in certain weight categories for kumite combat, and we expect a strong presence across all categories." Tennis Emirates has approved three names – Abdulrahman Al Marzouqi, Rashid Al Jasmi, and Marwan Al Marzouqi – with high hopes of winning gold, following the team's remarkable performances in recent competitions and a runner-up finish at the Gulf Junior Championship.

The trio train everyday at the National Tennis Centre at Al Nasr Leisureland in Dubai, under the supervision of coaches Omar Bahrouzyan and Mohammed Hisham Al Barami. The competition in the upcoming Gulf Youth Games will take place at the Top Spin Academy in Al Jadaf.

Nasser Yousuf Al Marzouqi, the Secretary-General of the Tennis Emirates, said: "The pressure is on as we host this prestigious event... this is more than just competition; it's a springboard for the future."

Al Marzouqi informed that the players recently competed in several high-profile tournaments, including the GCC Tennis Championship, the Asian Championship, and the World Cup qualifiers. "This wealth of experience will be invaluable as they compete on home soil," he said.

Meanwhile, the national junior volleyball team left for Serbia on Wednesday, to take part in a training camp until April 15. They will play five friendly matches and return to conclude preparations with a friendly match at Al Nasr Club against their Oman counterparts at the Games.

Source: Aletihad - Abu Dhabi
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