Tunisia star at Arab Rowing Championships
This year was the 11th edition of the Arab Rowing Championships and it took place in Tunis, Tunisia over two days.
Nine national federations took part with the biggest number of competitors coming from Egypt and Tunisia. Both nations had 30 rowers entered. Algeria had the next most competitors with 24. Competitors also came from Kuwait, Libya, Lebanon, Morocco, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.
Racing included junior, under-23 and senior boat classes in single sculls and double sculls. Direct finals allowed for a training day and organiser, Faycal Soula noted that on the first day of finals, racing conditions were perfect with no wind and temperatures in the mid to high 20s Celsius. The second day of finals had a cross wind but with fair conditions for all athletes, but then the winds picked up causing the racing to be postpone until later that day.
Mohamed Taieb of Tunisia was the most successful competitor overall picking up four gold medals including the under-23 lightweight and open weight men’s single and the men’s double sculls. Taieb went to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games where he raced in the men’s single sculls. He then went on to the World Rowing Under 23 Championships and in the lightweight men’s single he finished tenth.
Winning three gold medals was Nour Elhouda Ettaieb of Tunisia. Elhouda was 20th at the Rio Olympics in the lightweight women’s double sculls. Also winning three gold medals was Ettaieb’s Olympic doubles partner, Khadija Krimi.
Algerian women proved successful with two rowers earning three gold medals. Amina Rouba, 30, is the veteran of two Olympic Games. Most recently she raced at the Rio Olympics in the women’s single sculls and in Tunisia she picked up gold medals in the lightweight and open weight women’s double sculls and the women’s single sculls. Rouba’s doubles partner at this regatta was Nawel Chiali. She has come back to top rowing after last racing internationally two years ago. Chiali won three gold medals as well.
Overall Tunisia finished first on the medals table with 19 medals, 11 of them gold. Algeria was second with 16 medals, six of them gold and Egypt was third with 18 medals, three of them gold.