BAHRAIN were made to settle for the silver medals in the 21st Arab Men’s Volleyball Championship in Cairo last night.
This was after the Bahrainis lost their final game of the tournament 1-3 (23-25, 25-19, 23-25, 25-15) at the hands of eventual champions and hosts Egypt.
It was a tightly contested final that could have gone either way, but once Egypt took control of the contest in the third set, their rivals looked increasingly dejected and rattled. The home team then took full advantage as Bahrain could not recover.
Following the match, the tournament’s top three teams were awarded their respective trophies and medals in the closing ceremony and awards presentation. Arab Volleyball Federation President Shaikh Ali bin Mohammed Al Khalifa, who is also the Bahrain Volleyball Association President in the presence of other officials.
With their second place classification, the Bahrainis came away with the silver medals for the third time in the tournament’s history. They had also previously clinched the runner-up ranking in 2012 as well as in the previous edition of the championship in 2016, when they also faced Egypt for the title.
After wins earlier this week against Oman, Algeria, Iraq, Palestine and Jordan, the Bahrainis were in red hot form and were in good position to claim the crown, but in the end suffered their only loss of the tournament.
In other matches on the final day yesterday, Oman beat Iraq 3-1 (25-20, 25-19, 23-25, 25-19) and Algeria eased past Palestine 3-0 (25-20, 25-6, 25-12).
The Omanis therefore finished third with a 4-2 win-loss record, Algeria were fourth with a 3-3 mark, Iraq followed in fifth with a 2-4 record, Palestine were sixth on 1-5, and Jordan seventh and last place with a winless 0-6 record.
The Bahrain team, coached by veteran Bahraini tactician Yousef Khalifa, competed in the Arab championship with a 12-player squad that featured skipper Nasser Anan, Ali Al Sairafi, Mohammed Anan, Yousif Khalid, Mohammed Yaqoob, Abbas Al Khabbaz, Mahmood Al Afya, Ayman Haroona, Mohammed Jassim, Hussain Al Haiki, Hassan Al Haddad, and Hussain Sultan.
Bahrain have won the tournament twice in the past, first in 1992 and then again in 2008.