Anas Jaber and the 10 best Arab female athletes to follow in 2023

Anas Jaber (Tunisia) – tennis

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After a historic year in which she reached back-to-back Grand Slam finals at Wimbledon and the US Open, and became the highest-ranked African woman in tennis history, Anas Jabeur is aiming to reach higher goals this season.

The Tunisian major says she has set herself first place as her goal for 2023, and with no points to defend in three of the four Grand Slams this year, Jabeur has a legitimate chance to catch up. Current No. 1 Iga Swiatek.

Winning a major is also high on Jaber’s priority list, after finishing runner-up in 2022. The 28-year-old kicked off her 2023 campaign in Adelaide this week before traveling to Melbourne for the Australian Open, which she won last year missed out. Wound.

As a firm believer in articulating goals and drawing strength from them, it’s only fair that we can expect big things from Jabeur again this season.

Ines Lakalech (Morocco) – golf

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When Ines Laclaleche quit golf for three years while studying in London, she probably never imagined that two years later she would become the first Moroccan, Arab or North African to win a title on the Ladies European Tour.

The 25-year-old from Casablanca enjoyed an impressive 2022 as a junior in La Liga, winning the Lacoste Women’s Open de France in Deauville in September – just six months after turning professional – and scoring four more goals. .

Last month, she finished 19th in an eight-round qualifier to become the first North African to earn playing privileges on the 2023 LPGA Tour.

Stay tuned to Laklalic this year as she competes in golf’s most prestigious women’s tournament.

Hania El Hamami (Egypt) – Volleyball

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They just clinched their second Platinum title of the season in Hong Kong last month and at number three in the world rankings they look set to close the gap to Nouran Gohar and Nour El Sherbini, with the Egyptian duo currently the occupy top two places.

Hania El Hammami beat Gohar and El Sherbini in both her Hong Kong and Egypt Open titles in recent weeks and finished second in the CIB road to Egypt.

The 22-year-old has had a huge success in 2022, having won the prestigious British Open as well as the El Gouna International Championship, in which El Hammami came back from two games down at Love to defeat Gohar in a 90-minute final what was considered one of the best games of the year. .

She capped the year with her team, along with Gohar, El Sherbiny and Nour El Tayeb, to win the WSF World Women’s Tag Team Championship for Egypt.

The fierce battle between the top three in the world is likely to dominate the rest of the 2022/23 season and it will be interesting to see how far Hammami can push his rivals.

Nouf Al-Enezi (UAE) – Soccer

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UAE national football team captain Nouf Al-Enezi became the first Emirati woman to play for a club in Spain when she signed for CD Leganes – Madrid’s ‘Preferente’ – last October.

Two minutes after her first team debut, she scored an incredible “golazo” as they say in Spain.

“I knew this was the move that would raise the bar for me and the national team; Because it is like putting the UAE on the international map. Hence the first which was also in Spain. “It’s always been my dream and I’m so glad it happened,” said the 26-year-old. the National In one modern interview.

Leganes captain Maria Lazaro says Brand Al-Enezi’s arrival has been a “breath of fresh air” as the team seek promotion to the second division.

Emirati woman playing soccer in Spain? This is definitely something to support!

Mayar Sharif (Egypt) – Tennis

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Mayar Sherif, who holds the highest Egyptian rank in history and only the second Arab to break into the top 50 in women’s tennis, continues to progress with each season of the WTA.

The 26-year-old from Cairo peaked at world number 44 last July before winning her first WTA title in Parma in October, shocking world number seven Maria Sakkari in the final. The victory made Sherif the first Egyptian to win a WTA-level tournament.

She also won three P125 titles in 2022 and finished her campaign with a 10-match winning streak.

With his inspiration for Jabeur largely from North Africa, Sherif has high hopes for 2023.

Donia Abu Talib (Saudi Arabia) – Taekwondo

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History maker Donia Abu Talib became the first Saudi woman to medal at the World Taekwondo Championships when she won bronze in flyweight (-49kg) in Guadalajara last November.

A few months ago, the 26-year-old won the bronze medal at the Asian Taekwondo Championships – another unprecedented feat by a Saudi woman.

“After that, they opened clubs and created opportunities for women,” Abu Talib said. After his success at the World Championships in Mexico. “I am famous in Saudi Arabia. They all know me now.

Abutaleb, a lawyer who quit her job to focus on competing in the 2024 Paris Olympics, is one to watch at the Grand Prix this season as she prepares for the Games.

Hana Gouda (Egypt) – table tennis

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The word “prodigy” can be thrown around a lot in sports, but when it comes to 15-year-old Hana-Gouda, there couldn’t be a more accurate term to describe her.

The first African to be number one in the ITTF U-15 female cadet class when she was just 12 years old, Goda has since made history with every step.

At the age of 13 she became the youngest finalist in the history of the African Table Tennis Championships (Level I), at 14 she was 4th in the World Youth Ranking (players 19 years old and under), and now she is 15 years old. 3rd place in the youth world ranking and 40th place in the adult.

Last May, 14-year-old Juda became the youngest champion to win a continental title when she won gold in Nigeria at the ITTF Africa Cup, the second most famous continental event, and a major player in table tennis behind the African Senior Championships.

She looks unstoppable and has another big year ahead of her.

Fatima Al Nabhani (Oman) – Badil

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After a long career as a professional tennis player, Fatima Al Nabhani of Oman has now focused on padel and wasted no time in winning titles with her national team in several Gulf tournaments in 2022.

The 31-year-old has also won two FIP Tour titles and is the highest-ranked Arab woman in the International Rowing Federation rankings, currently ranked 151.

With a strong volleyball game and a deep-rooted passion for racquet sports that runs in the family, Al Nabhani is proving to be the ideal leader for the upcoming generation of Omani padel players.

With more and more padel tournaments arriving in the region, Al Nabhani will definitely be one to watch.

Menna Tarek (Egypt) – Soccer

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People often compare her to Mohamed Salah and not just because they have similar hairstyles; Menna Tarek is the real deal.

The brilliant forward made her senior Egypt debut aged just 14 in 2014, and has been a regular ever since.

Tariq, now 23, joined Al-Shabab Saudi Arabia at the start of the 2022/23 season and is their team’s top scorer with seven goals so far.

The Saudi Women’s Premier League was launched this season as the first domestic women’s football competition in the kingdom, and Tariq is one of many Egyptians signed by the eight participating clubs.

Women’s football is developing rapidly in the region and there is no doubt that Tariq, who previously played for Fatih Watan in Turkey as well as El Gouna and Wadi Degla in Egypt, will shine in the coming period.

Basant Hamida (Egypt) – Athletics

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Egypt’s fastest woman achieved rock star status on home soil when she won an unprecedented two gold medals in the 100 and 200 meters at the Mediterranean Games in Algeria last year.

Basant Hamida set two new national records in both sprints in 2022 and also ran under 11 seconds in the 100m for the first time.

The 26-year-old, who is the ambassador of the United Nations initiative in Egypt called “Shabab Balad”, has already qualified for the 2023 World Championships to be held in Budapest in August.

Can you become the first Egyptian woman to compete in a world championship sprint final?

Updated: 01 January 2023, 04:36

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