DUBAI, 7 April (BelTA - Emirates News Agensy). - Held under the theme ‘Limitless Abilities' and organised by the Dubai Sports Council (DSC), the NAS Sports Tournament is the biggest event of its kind in terms of participation and prize money, and has been held every year in the Holy Month of Ramadan since 2013 at the iconic Nad Al Sheba Sports Complex.
Witnessing a 30 percent increase in the number of participants compared to past editions, the NAS Running Challenge will feature 10km Open Men, 10km Open Women, 10km UAE Nationals, 5km Open Men, 5km Open Women, 5km UAE National Men, 5km UAE National Women and 4km race for young age groups.
Major General Dr. Muhammad Abdullah Al-Murr, President of the UAE Athletics Federation, expressed delight over the huge number of participants from all segments of society, including residents and expatriates, and said this reflects a boost to sports culture and a healthy lifestyle.
"The NAS Sports Tournament consolidates the vision that supports the culture of practicing sports activities by upgrading the capabilities of male and female players, developing their talents and skills, and attracting all categories of residents in the country in a way that enhances the efforts made by the wise leadership to make sport a way of life to maintain their public health.
"The NAS Sports Tournament has made its mark in the annals of sporting events thanks to H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council, who played a crucial and significant role in promoting the values that support the practice of sports during the Holy Month of Ramadan and spreading positive energy among everyone who enjoys sports in general.
"The idea of the NAS Sports Tournament stems from a firm conviction of the value and importance of an event of such stature, which contributed to upgrading the capabilities of male and female players' both on and off the field. This was in keeping with the federation's mission to focus on everything that paves the way for future plans to produce champions who can best represent their nation and find talents to bolster national teams," he added.
The president of the UAE Athletics Federation praised the sincere efforts made by the Organising Committee and Dubai Sports Council to include competitions in the open category for women, which contributes to making them a significant part of the athletic competitions at the NAS.
The NAS Volleyball Championship witnessed another round of mouthwatering clashes on Wednesday.
In the first match, HMS outlasted Al-Shababi 3-2 in a match that continued for one hour and 47 minutes. HMS, comprising UAE and Sri Lankan players, started well and won the first set 25-22. Al-Shababi bounced back to win the second set 25-17. HMS pocketed the third 25-17 and lost the fourth.
Both teams battled hard in the decider, where HMS prevailed over their opponents by winning the set 15-12.
HMS's Omani import Falah Al-Jaradi delivered a dazzling performance with 17 points, while Daudi Okello stood out for the Al-Shababi team with 25 points.
Defending champions Emperor and Fahood Zabeel locked horns in the second match.
Emperor, one of the strongest teams with a squad comprising German, Australian, Dutch, and Iranian stars, started strongly and registered a 3-0 (25-22, 25-24, 25-22) win over their rivals.
Amin Esmaeilnejad top scored with 20 points for Emperor, while the best scorer Fahood Zabeel's Pothron Nicholas netted 11.
At the end of the third round, the Emperor are on top with nine points, followed by Fahood Zabeel, who have six. Both teams have already qualified for the semi-finals of the championship.
The UAE national team continued their winning march in the NAS International Padel Championship. They defeated Japan 2-1 in the second round match of Group A. Qatar produced an impressive performance as they routed Saudi Arabia 3-0.
In Group B, Egypt also registered their second victory as they beat Iran 2-1. Bahrain recovered from its opening round loss to edge past Kuwaiti 2-1.
Elsewhere, tabletoppers Dubai Police GHQ will face Roads and Transport Authority, while Dubai Ambulance will square off against Al Bustan Centre in the semi-finals of the wheelchair basketball tournament.
The final day of the preliminary round saw the Department of Finance beat DEWA 26-12; Dubai Municipality beat Ability Life 22-20; Al Bustan Centre beat Dubai Courts 28-16; and Dubai Ambulance snatched the top spot in Group B by beating Dubai Roads 21-19.
Dubai Police GHQ team are on top of Group A with eight points, followed by Al Bustan Centre with 7 points. Department of Finance have six points.
Dubai Ambulance leads Group B with eight points. RTA are in second place with seven points. Dubai Municipality are in third place with six points.