A historic moment: Women to take center stage at wrestling championship

WhatsApp Image 2024-03-06 at 2.05.15 PM
(Photos: Khaled Al-Omeri, Jordan News)
For the first time in the Kingdom’s history, women will be participating in the Arab Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling Championship categories for under 17 and 23-year-olds from May 22 to 26. اضافة اعلان

And after an 11-year hiatus, the Kingdom is proud to host this event. Mohammed Kamal Bouaziz, the president of the Arab Wrestling Federation and deputy chairman of the referee’s committee at the International Federation, praised Jordan's organizational capabilities during its hosting of the Asian and World championships last year. This led the Arab federation to trust Jordan to organize the Arab championship, making it a preparatory station leading up to hosting the Asian championships for the under 17 and 23 categories from June 22 to 30. This will be followed by hosting the world championship for the under-17 category from August 19 to 24.

In an interview with Jordan News, he said "The return of organizing the Arab championship and involving women in it is important to embrace the talents of Arab women. Especially since hosting the championship was limited to males and was intermittent, but today we believe in the role of women and their ability to raise the level of the game and achieve remarkable accomplishments for all of us as Arabs."

He added: "Today we stand at the Arab Wrestling Federation between the continents of Asia and Africa. There are significant differences in the level of the game and its spread among countries. But the most important thing is that we have a large number of champion female athletes."

It is expected that the championship will witness a large participation from Arab countries. Bouaziz said, "Jordan has proven great organizational success and provides a safe environment. It has moderate weather, along with the kindness of its people and good hospitality. Everyone will rush to register and ensure their presence in the championship. This is out of love for Jordan and seeking to make history in the event held for the first time for women."

Tunisian Mohammed Kamal Bouaziz was elected as president of the Arab Federation, succeeding Qatari Zamal Al-Shahrani on March 28, 2022. He is one of the most prominent Arab players in wrestling, having participated as a player, coach, and referee in seven previous Olympic Games, in addition to winning about 50 local, regional, and international titles.

Meanwhile, Abdullah Qutaishat, the deputy chairman of the Jordan Wrestling Federation and the media spokesperson, shared with JordanNews: "The Arab championship is part of the hosting and development plan that we seek to succeed in the wrestling federation. We also focus today on preparing a new generation of talented male and female players. It is wonderful that Jordan is the gateway to making history in Arab wrestling, with the participation of women in the championship."

He continued: "We have a limited base of female players, and to assess their ability to compete continentally and internationally, we need to provide tournaments of this kind to allow them to interact and increase their experiences and get them into the atmosphere of matches. The Arab championship confirms that Jordan has become a gateway in the Middle East and the Arab Gulf region. The Arab championship also serves as a preparatory rehearsal on the technical, administrative, and organizational aspects before hosting the Asian and World championships for the second consecutive year."

The national team players are currently in a joint training camp with Algerian players in "Algiers," as Qutaishat said: "We provide an opportunity for our players to interact, and we are keen to strengthen relations with all countries in the region to ensure their presence and the success of the championship," noting that Algeria, Saudi Arabia, and Tunisia have confirmed their participation so far in the women's category.

On the other hand, the technical director of the national women's wrestling team, Raed Al-Qaisi, said in his statements to (Jordan News): "Our women's team is newly established and not more than a year old. We reveal our training in the previous period to raise the readiness of the players and to appear in a good way in the first-of-its-kind Arab event for women at the Arab level. Africa monopolizes women's wrestling, and we are the first team from Arab Asia to include players from different age groups," confirming their regular training to provide the players with the appropriate experiences in preparation for the next stage.

The players of the national women's wrestling team expressed their enthusiasm for participating in the Arab championship, confirming in statements to Jordan News the importance of organizing tournaments at the Arab level to contribute to raising their technical and physical levels and gaining the necessary experiences that enable them to stand on the podiums in continental and international tournaments.

Technical director Raed Al-Qaisi supervises the training of players Nora Al-Tayyibin, Balqis Al-Tayyibin, Jana Abu Shawer, Maya Qutaishat, Tala Abu Khayt, Laila Sukkar, and Maryam Abu Hammad in the current camp in Algeria.

The Jordanian Wrestling Federation announced in May 2022 the re-establishment of a junior women's team and another for women in wrestling after a hiatus of about 15 years, confirming its supportive strategy for women and activating their role in the game, in addition to providing the opportunity for women and juniors to participate in local and international competitions within a competitive environment for practicing sports.

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