A fitting finale to 12th Arab Games
DOHA THE 12th Arab Games ended on a celebratory note at the Al Sadd Sports Club Stadium on Friday as Qatar pulled off yet another successful organisation of a big sporting event.
The closing ceremony, graced by the Deputy Emir and Heir Apparent HH Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al Thani, was marked by the handing over of the Arab Games flag to Lebanon which will host the 13th edition of the tournament in 2015.
The function was preceded by a thrilling football championship match between Bahrain and Jordan, with the former grabbing the gold medal after its 1-0 triumph.
The simple but delightful ceremony to mark the end of the 15-day competitions celebrated the successful hosting of the Arab Games for the first time in a Gulf country.
It was attended by HE Sheikh Abdullah bin Khalifa al Thani, Special Adviser to the Emir His Highness Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al Thani, Deputy Premier and Chairman of the Administrative Control and Transparency Authority HE Abdullah bin Hamad al Attiyah and a number of ministers, Arab ambassadors accredited to Qatar and other VIP guests.
Following the ceremonial handover of the Arab Games flag by Doha to Beirut, Arab Games Organising Committee (AGOC) Chairman HE Sheikh Saoud bin Abdulrahman al Thani and President of Union Arab National Olympic Committees (UANOC) Prince Nawaf bin Faisal bin Fahd al Saud addressed the VIP guests, participating athletes and the spectators.
It was followed by the awarding of medals by HH the Deputy Emir to winners of the football competition.
The Bahrain team received gold medal while Jordan and Kuwait got silver and bronze, respectively.
To the delight of thousands of ecstatic football fans who witnessed the ceremony, Iraqi singer Kazem al Saher crooned a song specially composed for the 2011 Arab Games.
The colourful fireworks display that followed it lighted up the Doha sky and provided a fitting finale to the big event.
The Arab Games 2011 brought together in Qatar about 6000 athletes and officials from 21 Arab countries, the biggest gathering ever for Arab Games. It featured 29 sports event including 2 Paralympic contests. Local and regional fans were entertained with 353 events (217 for men, 128 for women and 8 open) held at 14 competition venues.
As sidelight to the main event, cultural shows and fun-filled activities were organised in 15 non-competition venues including at the Athletes’ Village, Katara, Souq Waqif and Aspire Park.