x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 January 2018

Al Gharbia Watersports Festival turning out to be a hit

Jasper Moka and Tom Berort finish first and second respectively in the 25-man 700m swimming competition, while Mohammed Abdul Rahim al Hosani comes third.

There was a South African one-two finish at the 700m swimming competition at the Al Gharbia Watersports Festival but the locals did have a third-place finish to cheer.

Jasper Moka and Tom Berort finished first and second respectively in the 25-man event while Mohammed Abdul Rahim al Hosani came third.

"It was a wonderful race," al Hosani said. "Long distance races better demonstrate the athlete's ability."

Speaking about the seventh running of the festival, al Hosani added: "It was a success on all levels, particularly the public presence and good organising aspects.

"Visitors of the region noticed how the traffic on Al Mirfa beaches was high all the time during the festival."

Obaid Khalfan al Mazrouei, the festival manager, said: "We are thrilled with the huge response to this championship. We have been trying to attract the largest number of entries possible from the Western Region.

"As the festival name is Al Gharbia Watersports Festival, we are focusing on increasing the number water sport disciplines in the festival programme year on year."

The winners of the 50m and 150m events received their medals and awards yesterday. Abdullah Mohammed al Hamadi, Khalid Ismael al Hamadi and Hassan Sultan al Hamadi claimed the podium positions in the 50m competition while Mohammed Abdul Rahim al Hosani, Naif Hassan al Razouki and Abdullah Hadi al Hamadi were the first three home in the 150m event.

In the quarter-final matches of the Senior Beach Football Championship Al Asoud team beat Ice Back 3-1, while the Al Gharbia Institute team eliminated Al Gharbi Club, 3-1 on penalties. Armed Forces, last year's runners-up, also prevailed from 12 yards, winning 2-1 over HCT team.

Ali Sarhan, the HCT goalkeeper and man of the match, said: "The tournament was full of rivalry matches and great performance."

Emigration also reached the last four, defeating the Services and Security team 3-1.

This year's festival also saw a debut for rowing while standing, kite surfing and kayaking.