x Abu Dhabi, UAE Thursday 20 July 2017

Al Gharbia Festival may have unearthed potential for the Olympics

One of the swimmers who took part in the Al Gharbia Watersports Festival believes the competition could have unearthed some Olympic standard athletes.

Action from the junior beach football competition at the Al Gharbia Watersports Festival. Region Planning and Inhabitants Relations were the winners of that event.
Action from the junior beach football competition at the Al Gharbia Watersports Festival. Region Planning and Inhabitants Relations were the winners of that event.

One of the swimmers who took part in the Al Gharbia Watersports Festival believes the competition could have unearthed some Olympic standard athletes.

In the competition, which saw 25 swimmers from the Western Regions take part, Mohammed Abdul Rahim al Hosani came first in the 18-and-over age group competition, followed by Naif Hassan al Marzouqi and Abdullah Hadi al Hamadi.

Providing they receive the right coaching, Anas Hadi feels some could go on to represent their country on the biggest stage of all.

"I think that some of the swimmers we saw are potential Olympic swimmers," he said. "They just need adequate training as well as appropriate medical and nutritional advice.

"The competition was soaring with the increasing number of entries from the region's nationals. Some competitors showed excellent physical ability that enables them take a professional swimming career."

Al Hosani, the race winner, said, "It was a wonderful and difficult win.

"Everything was stimulating, particularly the good organising and the wonderful weather of Al Mirfa city, the pearl of the Western Region."

Investigation team won the third edition of the volleyball championship at the 10-day festival and will receive their medals tomorrow. The match was full of drama, with great play from both teams, but Investigation took the title with a 2-0 victory.

"We dedicate this victory to all our supporters, and to all who supported and contributed to make this wonderful championship a great success," Naif Mohammed al Hamadi said: "We congratulate all who are behind this festival for the success, and wish better luck to all teams in the coming competitions.

"Our win is a culmination of efforts and preparations of all the team members."

Elsewhere, Region Planning and Inhabitants Relations beat Security Service 2-0 to claim the Junior Beach Football Championship. Hassan Salem al Hamadi and Zayed Ahmed, the UAE junior national team goalkeeper, were the men of the match.

"The level of performance in the championship was high, and I saw many players worthy of playing in the UAE league," Ahmed said.

Asked about the difficulty of playing on sand, he said: "Yes, it is different than playing on grass. But talented and skilled players will need little time to adapt to playing on grass. So many players have been discovered on beaches."

* Compiled with agency