Gulf Youth Games 2024: UAE leads with 191 medals across 13 sports. UAE NOC

The Gulf Youth Games, themed "Our Gulf is One... Our Youth is Promising," kicked off on 16 April and runs until 2 May in the UAE. With 3,500 male and female athletes participating, the event showcases 24 sports competitions.

Emirati athletes continue to dominate the medal standings at the Gulf Youth Games, excelling in sports like athletics, jiu-jitsu, and taekwondo. Their success extends across diverse disciplines, including cycling, boxing, and chess, with contributions from Paralympic athletes as well.

UAE leadsso far with 191 medals (65 gold, 68 silver, 58 bronze), followed by Saudi Arabia with 69, and Kuwait with 63. Oman secures fourth with 41 medals, while Bahrain and Qatar follow closely with 39 and 25 medals, respectively.

The UAE equestrian team dominated the show jumping competition at the Sharjah Equestrian Club, securing three medals with Issa Omran Al Owais, Mabkhout Al Karbi, and Muhammad Saeed Al Khatri claiming gold, silver, and bronze respectively. They also secured bronze on the opening day, accumulating four medals overall. In cycling, the UAE team earned two silver medals, while Saudi Arabia dominated with seven medals.

The UAE women's table tennis team secured bronze, and the youth team narrowly missed bronze. The volleyball competition concluded with the UAE team finishing fourth, as Bahrain claimed gold, Saudi Arabia silver, and Oman placed last.

A podium on Gulf Youth Games 2024. UAE NOC
A podium on Gulf Youth Games 2024. UAE NOC

Sheikha Rawda Bint Maktoum Bin Rashid Al Maktoum handed over the awards to the champions, alongside Faris Mohammed Al Mutawa, Secretary General of the National Olympic Committee and Vice President of the Supreme Committee for the first Gulf Youth Games UAE 2024. Also in attendance were Eisa Hilal Al Hazami, Chairman of the Sharjah Sports Council, and Sultan Khalifa Al Yahyai, Director General of the Sharjah Equestrian Club.

Abdulaziz Bin Ahmed Baeshen, CEO and Secretary General of the Saudi Olympic and Paralympic Committees commended the UAE for hosting the inaugural Gulf Youth Games, praising their hospitality and the strong presence of GCC athletes. He emphasised the event's potential to nurture future champions.

Major General Ismail Al Gergawi, President of the UAE and Arab Basketball Federations stressed the importance of continuing the Gulf Games for future sports development. He called for reinforcing the Union of Gulf Committees and updating past standards to preserve sports' evolving essence.

The exciting Volleyball at Gulf Youth Games 2024. UAE NOC
The exciting Volleyball at Gulf Youth Games 2024. UAE NOC

Awad Al Mansouri, member of the Board of Directors of the UAE Volleyball Federation and Chairman of the National Teams Committee, voiced regret over the national team's absence from the medal standings, citing losses to Saudi Arabia (0-3) and close defeats against Kuwait and Bahrain (2-3) due to minor errors. Al Mansouri emphasised the team's overall strong performance, noting they were on the verge of victory against Kuwait and Bahrain had it not been for unfortunate circumstances and crucial errors.

The organising committee approved the golf competition system and conducted the draw at the Abu Dhabi Golf Club after a technical meeting. Attendees included Nasser Balshalat, representing the UAE National Olympic Committee, Khaled Mubarak Al Shamsi, Secretary General of the Emirates Golf Federation, and Akram Skaik, CEO of the competition and Director General of the Emirates Golf Federation.

Jassim Bin Rashid Al Buainain, Secretary General of the Qatar Olympic Committee, praised the inaugural Gulf Youth Games' opening ceremony for promoting GCC unity. Khalid Mubarak Al Shamsi, Secretary General of the Emirates Golf Federation, highlighted the event's role in fostering sports development and nurturing emerging talents in golf across the GCC.

Mohammed Talib Al Balushi, a member of the Board of Directors of the Omani Athletics Federation and Chairman of the National Teams Committee, commended the Gulf Youth Games, citing it as an opportunity for experience-building among emerging players. He lauded the UAE's role in organising the tournament and expressed optimism about the players' future potential. Al Balushi thanked the UAE National Olympic Committee for their organisation and hospitality during the event.