NADIA Al Awadhi was crowned champion of the Women’s Masters last night as part of a three-medal haul for Bahrain as they signed off from the ninth Arab Men’s and fifth Women’s Bowling Championship, held in Cairo.
Nadia captured the coveted crown for the first time since the 2015 edition of the prestigious competition.
To add to her win on the tournament’s final day, teammates Yousef Falah claimed a silver and Ahmed Al Khaja won a bronze, both in the Men’s Masters.
The three medals brought Bahrain’s overall medal tally to nine in the tournament, including four gold, two silver and three bronze.
Their success secured the national team first place overall amongst the seven Arab nations in the competition. The Bahrainis were first amongst the men’s teams and second from the women’s teams.
In last night’s Women’s Masters final, Nadia was up against Egypt’s Sara Gamal, who was looking to extend her impressive run in the championship after claiming the gold medals in the Singles, Doubles, Teams and All Events.
Nadia had other plans, however, although needed to go the maximum in their best-of-three match-up.
The Bahraini ace and former multiple-Arab champion drew first blood by the narrowest of margins, winning the first game by just two pinfalls, 238-236. Sara was able to bounce back and even the proceedings with a 227-170 victory in the second game, setting up the decisive third to determine the Women’s Masters title.
Nadia would not disappoint, beating her rival 215-197. It was Nadia’s third medal in the tournament, after also winning a silver in the Doubles and a bronze in the Teams events.
On the distaff, Falah narrowly missed out on making it a Masters double gold for Bahrain but had a successful tournament nonetheless.
He lost the Men’s Masters final against Sayeed Ibrahim of the UAE in two games. Ibrahim was brilliant in both outings, winning the first 279-227 before closing things out with a 277-190 result in the second.
Al Khaja managed to claim a shared bronze with Saudi Arabia’s Hassan Al Shaiekh, as both players lost in the semi-finals.
Al Khaja bowed to Falah in an all-Bahraini affair in a tough, three-game encounter. Falah won the first game 237-185, before Al Khaja took the second 224-215. Falah then claimed the third 233-184 to set up his meeting against Ibrahim, who in turn beat Al Shaiekh also in three games (248-205, 204-228, 268-163).
In the previous rounds, Falah defeated Oman’s Ghalib Al Busaidi in the second stage after beating Kuwait’s Aseel Al Roomi in the opening round of 16. Al Khaja had won against Oman’s Musaab Al Adawi in round two after beating Oman’s Hasan Al Kharousi in the first phase.
Bahrain had three other players compete in the Masters, but Ahmed Rahimi was eliminated by Al Shaiekh in round two after earlier beating Egypt’s Eslam Eid, and fellow-Bahrainis Ahmed Alqaod and Osama Abdulrahman were both unlucky in the first stage. Alqaod lost to Al Adawi and Abdulrahman was beaten by Egyptian Ayman Hashem.