Ons Jabeur and 10 Arab sportswomen to watch in 2022

Ons Jabeur (Tunisia) – Tennis

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The Tunisian continues her historic rise in the WTA rankings and starts her 2022 campaign at world No. 10.

The 27-year-old enjoyed a historic 2021, becoming the first Arab player – male or female – to reach the tennis top 10, peaking at 7th place in November.

She became the first Arab to win a WTA title when she triumphed in Birmingham last June, and went on to become the first Arab woman to reach the quarter-finals at Wimbledon.

“As you know, I am someone who likes a challenge and especially likes to say the objectives out loud. I want to keep breaking records, I want to keep making history and setting an even more example for athletes, ”Jabeur told reporters in Abu Dhabi last month.

“I want to continue on my way and be able to win more titles, to prove that I deserve my place in the top 10. I am very ambitious for next year, I will expand the team even more, I will let you know when everything is confirmed and that it will be a great season, hopefully. ”

Hamda Al Qubaisi (UAE) – Motorsport

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Having already claimed six victories in the UAE’s F4 Championship, the Emirati teenager made history in 2021, becoming the first woman to step onto the podium in the Italian F4 Championship, when she finished third in Misano last June.

“What an incredible feeling! I got my first podium, and it was quite unexpected. Obviously I knew I had the pace and could reach the top three, but it’s a dream come true for me, ”said Al Qubaisi after the race.

The 19-year-old from Abu Dhabi, following in the footsteps of her father Khaled and older sister Amna, made a lasting impression on racing in Italy for Prema Powerteam and will aim for further success this year in Formula 4 and in Formula Asian Regional Championship.

Farah Jefry (Saudi Arabia) – Football

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Jefry and her Jeddah Eagles team have just been crowned Western Region Champions of the Saudi Women’s Football League.

In the league’s inaugural edition, the Saudi teenager finished top scorer at just 17 years old.

Now 18, the midfielder recently appeared in a photo on Instagram of Zinedine Zidane, who met Jefry and Emirati footballer Nouf Al Anzi as part of a campaign for their joint sponsor Adidas.

“Thank you for sharing your passion for football with me. Continue your journey, ”Zidane wrote in the caption.

Jefry is the first woman from Saudi Arabia to be named an Adidas Ambassador and she is excited to play a role in promoting women’s sport in the country.

“I am satisfied with the development of women’s football in Saudi Arabia, and I aspire to do more with the hope that the spotlight will be on more female talent,” she said.

Hana Goda (Egypt) – Table tennis

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In December 2019, at just 12 years old, Goda became the first African to be ranked No.1 in the ITTF Under-15 Cadet Girls category.

Last September, at age 13, the Egyptian prodigy beat Africa’s most successful player Dina Meshref 4-2 in the semi-finals to become the youngest finalist in African Table Tennis Championships history.

At the ITTF World Junior Championships last month, Goda won gold in the U15 women’s doubles and silver in singles, to end her 2021 milestone on a high note.

Now 14, Goda is ranked No.4 in the World Youth Rankings, among players 19 and under.

An Olympic champion in the making, Goda’s journey is already remarkable and she already aims to make more history in 2022.

Maha Haddioui (Morocco) – Golf

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The 33-year-old Moroccan is the first Arab to win playing privileges on the Ladies European Tour and has just completed her 11th full season competing on the circuit.

In 2021, Haddioui qualified for her second consecutive Olympic Games, where she won with an ace on the seventh hole of the second round before concluding her campaign in Tokyo in 43rd place.

The 2021 season for Agadir residents was marked by an 11th place finish at the Czech Ladies Open and more recently an eighth place finish at the Aramco Team Series event in Jeddah.

Nour El Tayeb (Egypt) – Squash

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Back from maternity leave, the former world No.3 made a winning comeback on the PSA tour a few weeks ago by beating compatriot Hana Ramadan to reach the quarter-finals of the CIB Squash Open Black Ball, just five months later. having given birth to her baby. daughter Farida.

El Tayeb, who slipped to 9th place in the standings, will look to work his way up and challenge his Egyptian compatriots Nour El Sherbini and Nouran Gohar at the top.

Can the 28-year-old regain her top form and reach the top as a new mom? It will be interesting to find out.

Mayar Sherif (Egypt) – Tennis

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The first Egyptian to win a WTA 125 title, the first Egyptian to win a Grand Slam match, the first Egyptian to reach a WTA final, the first Egyptian to reach the top 100… The long list of firsts obtained by Sherif in 2021 her earned a nomination for Newcomer of the Year Touring.

The Cairene finished their season ranked 61st in the world and will be looking to reach new heights as a new campaign kicks off this month in Australia.

Manon Ouaiss (Lebanon) – Alpine skiing

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The 21-year-old Lebanese qualified for the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games, where she will compete in the slalom and giant slalom events.

Currently training at his base near Les 3 Vallées in France, Ouaiss had a strong 2020-21 campaign with four wins in slalom and giant slalom at Les Cèdres and great performances at FIS events in Montenegro.

Farida Osman (Egypt) – Swimming

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Egypt’s most successful swimmer bounced back from a tough Olympics in Tokyo 2020 with a strong performance at the World Championships in Abu Dhabi last month, reaching the 100m butterfly final and the semi-finals of the 50m freestyle events and 50 m butterfly.

The Africa record holder, three-time Olympian and two-time World Championship bronze medalist is looking to set the best times this coming season, with an eye on the World Aquatic Championships in Fukuoka in May.

Layla Al Khatib (UAE) – Swimming

At the age of 15, Al Khatib has already represented the UAE at a world championship, thanks to the wildcard she received to compete in Abu Dhabi last month.

The teenage bib recently won two gold and one bronze at the Arab Age Group Swimming Championships in the United Arab Emirates and is looking to take her young career one step further in 2022.

Updated: January 2, 2022, 5:09 am

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