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Mansoor bin Mohammed attends opening of 1st GCC Youth Games

Mansoor bin Mohammed attends opening of 1st GCC Youth Games
23 Apr 2024 23:38

DUBAI (WAM)

H.H. Sheikh Mansoor bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Dubai Sports Council, highlighted the pivotal role that GCC sports tournaments play in elevating the standing of GCC sports on the global stage, besides enhancing the bonds of cooperation and unity among the youth of the GCC countries.



Such a spirit reflects the profound commitment of GCC leaders to the youth and the continuous efforts to nurture their talents to enable them to excel in various international sporting arenas, he said.



Sheikh Mansoor was speaking during the official opening of the first GCC Youth Games, which took place on Tuesday evening at the Dubai Opera.



The event was attended by Jasem Mohamed Al Budaiwi, Secretary-General of the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf; Sheikh Rashid bin Humaid Al Nuaimi, Vice President of the National Olympic Committee and Chairman of the Higher Organising Committee for the Games, alongside numerous ambassadors, public figures, sports dignitaries, and representatives from the GCC National Olympic Committees.



The opening ceremony highlighted the themes of sustainability, cohesion, and youth, featuring a 40-minute artistic performance. About 1500 people attended the opening ceremony of the games, which were kicked off on April 16th and runs through May 2nd.



Marking the event, Sheikh Mansoor bin Mohammed bin Rashid stressed the enduring value that nations and communities derive from the cultural and societal legacies of hosting sporting events. He highlighted how these events embody the meanings of unity, cohesion, and solidarity, ensuring that their benefits and impacts resonate with pride across generations.



He expressed gratitude towards the organising committees, workers, teams, volunteers, and all who contributed to the success and excellence of the event.



Sheikh Mansoor also commended the dedication and enthusiasm of athletes in using sports competitions as a platform to foster competition, friendship, and cooperation, and at the same time focusing on enhancing performance and setting new benchmarks at all levels. These elements, he stated, are central to achieving the goals of organising various events that bring together athletes motivated by the sight of their national flags, which inspire them to continue their pursuit of progress and achievement.



Sheikh Mansoor warmly received the various national delegations that are in the UAE for the GCC Youth Games, which are being held under the theme “Our Gulf is One... Our Youth is Promising”. The event has drawn the participation of 3,500 athletes, male and female, competing in 24 individual and team sports, ably backed up by 300 volunteers and 100 representatives of various media. He commended the outstanding performances and medal-winning athletes participating in the exceptional sporting event, which is dedicated to the youth of the GCC.



Sheikh Mansoor inaugurated the ceremony, which began with the rendition of the UAE national anthem, followed by the entry of the GCC flag bearer on the main stage. This was succeeded by the parade of flags from the GCC countries participating in the event. The athletes, coaches, and referees then took their respective Games pledges, setting the stage for various artistic performances that captivated everyone with their creativity and harmony, all aligning with the event's message. This was part of an ongoing effort to achieve excellence and foster brotherhood, affection, and solidarity.



Leading the procession of athletes was a falcon sculpture, accompanied by the image of a white falcon soaring across the screen against a natural backdrop, symbolising the concepts of heritage and youthful vigour. The performance groups appeared in sustainable costumes featuring the colours of the UAE flag. The artistic performance continued with a portrayal of roots emerging from the ground, blossoming into plants and the stunning landscapes of various cities, depicting the future of the GCC countries and illustrating the impact of sustainability.



The UAE flag was proudly carried by Marwa Al Hammadi from the national sailing team. Mohammed Ahmed Al Musaabi, a member of the national athletics team, had the honour of carrying the torch for the UAE. Ghadeer Al Dhaheri from the national badminton team took the oath on behalf of the athletes. The referees' oath was taken by Ismail Al Balushi, an esteemed international referee affiliated with the International Volleyball Federation and experienced in officiating at major events like the men's and women's World League, Volleyball World Cup, and various international challenge championships.



The ceremony was also marked by technology and sustainability shows, which featured a blend of modern geometric patterns and abstract art combined with images of interlocking solar lights. This visual fusion highlighted the integration of Artificial Intelligence with traditional elements, culminating in the lighting of the torch by six athletes representing all the participating countries.



The tournament includes 24 sports, namely football, swimming, judo, boxing, track cycling, sailing, jiu-jitsu, golf, volleyball, athletics, table tennis, e-sports, athletics for people of determination, billiards, handball, basketball (3x3), karate, chess, equestrian (show jumping), archery, triathlon, fencing, badminton, and taekwondo.



The UAE has continued to dominate the overall standings, maintaining its lead for the eighth consecutive day with an impressive total of 168 medals. This achievement is a testament to the outstanding performances of numerous champion athletes who earned their place on the podium through their exploits. The UAE's medal haul includes 58 gold, 62 silver, and 48 bronze medals. Notably, the boxing competitions were held concurrently with the opening ceremony.



In the overall medals table, Saudi Arabia holds the second spot with 57 medals (27 gold, 18 silver, and 12 bronze), followed closely by Kuwait in third place with 57 medals (14 gold, 21 silver, and 22 bronze). Oman is in the fourth position with 42 medals (16 gold, 11 silver, and 15 bronze), while Bahrain is placed fifth with 36 medals (9 gold, 11 silver, and 16 bronze). Qatar is in sixth place with a total of 21 medals (9 gold, 5 silver, and 7 bronze).

Source: WAM
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