Shaden writes golden chapter for Qatar
TRIBUNE NEWS NETWORK
DOHA GYMNAST Shaden Wohdan came out of the shadow of the Egyptian rivals and landed two ground-breaking gold medals at the Arab Games on Wednesday.
At the Aspire Dome, the 16- year-old Wohdan’s impeccable performance on the beam and floor created a host of firsts for Qatar, besides enabling her to exact sweet revenge against Salma el Said of Egypt.
The golden double pushed the tally to 15, the best ever by Qatar in any Arab Games till now. Its 14 gold medals at the Cairo Games in 2007 were the highest so far. Now the host, who has 15-12-15 figures, is merely three short of equalising its biggest medals haul in Amman 12 years ago.
Also Wohdan created a history by becoming the first gymnast from Qatar to win a gold medal in the Arab Games.
She now boasts of being the highest medal winner for the home team with five, including two silvers.
“I cannot express myself,” said Wohdan. “After all the hard work, something paid off.
Two golds, two silvers and one bronze – my happiness is indescribable,” cooed Wohdan.
“My dream was to win the beam then floor came along too. I am proud to make history for Qatar,” added the gymnast.
Where most of her competitors struggled to stay upright, Wohdan managed a poised and composed beam routine then repeated the feat on the floor, scoring 12.750 for her highly choreographed efforts.
The Egyptians still had plenty to cheer, however. They took two golds from three men’s finals thanks to Mohamed Elsaharty who bagged his fourth and fifth of the Games in vault and horizontal bar finals.
He ends the competition with a near-perfect record having won every final he contested except the parallel bars, where he had to be satisfied with bronze behind Algeria’s Sid Ali Ferdjani and fellow Egyptian Islam Shahin.
It has been quite a tournament for Elsaharty. The 21- year-old’s final tally reads five golds and one bronze, a record eclipsed in Arab Games history only by Ahmed Ghanim who won seven golds and one silver for Egypt (UAR) at the first Games in Casablanca in 1961.
Egypt topped the final artistic gymnastics medal table with nine golds from 13 events.
Qatar finish second thanks to Wohdan’s golden double.
Elsaharty’s brilliant efforts tied him with Saudi Arabian shooter Mohammed al Saeed.
Both have six medals, including five golds. But the only factor that keeps the Egyptian behind him is that he has a bronze while Saeed’s sixth one is a silver medal.
Qatar’s third gold medal of the day came through the Al Shaqab arena where the dressage quartet of Rashid al Marri, Mohammed al Marri, Abdulla al Marri and Ahmed al Badi was unstoppable. It collected 66.901 points to comfortably beat Lebanon and Iraq.
Gymnast Mahmood al Sadi and taekwondoist Ahmed Saad pulled one silver medal each and Nasra Mohammed Mahmoud and Aisha al Mansouri finished third in their events to keep Qatar well ahead of third-placed Tunisia.