The U13 World School Games are in the history books for this year and what a memorable tournament it proved to be.
The competition went down to the wire, but in the end, it was the UAE’s own British School Al Khubairat that topped the podium ahead of Greek representatives St. Catherine’s British School and Nigeria’s CIS.
The Abu Dhabi team were consistently excellent across the swimming, football and athletic events and in the end pipped St. Catherine’s to the title by the narrowest of margins, and in doing so became the first UAE team to win the World School Games crown.
But it wasn’t just BSAK who finished the tournament with plenty to smile about - all the UAE schools (and, indeed, all the international schools) did themselves proud in Dubai, and GYS is here to prove it to you as we take an in-depth look at where all the UAE schools picked up their points this past weekend.
Ultimately, the Games belonged to BSAK – the tournament winners scored 440 points across the three days.
In the football events, the boys performed admirably but it was the girls that stole the show; they scored 13 goals and conceded just two in the group stages before going on to win the competition, and in student Lamia they had the tournament’s top scorer.
They also enjoyed a string of great results in the pool. They won the boys and girls 4x50m Medley Relays and both 4x50m Freestyle Relay (B) events. Individually, Maia Logan won gold and Maya Beleidy took silver as BSAK dominated the Girls 50m Freestyle; Beleidy took gold in the 50m backstroke; and BSAK won the 50m Breaststroke thanks to the second-place finish of Aryana Kumar and the third-place of Nell McClare.
In the track and field events Edward Hopper won gold as BSAK won the Boys Javelin and Maddie Robinson took gold in the girls equivalent. Elsewhere, Beleidy added to her medal haul with gold in the Girls 1200m whilst Lamia Bajric won gold in the Girls Shot Putt and Eva Ramshaw Roberts won the Girls 600m race.
Not far behind the winners were Dubai International Academy who finished in 4th place, a step up from their 5th place in the U11 Games at the end of January. The foundations for their success were built on their strong performances in the football and swimming events.
Both their football teams recorded strong results – particularly the boys who won all seven of their group games, scoring 16 goals without conceding at the other end - whilst in the pool the combined efforts of Valentin Honsberger (2nd) and Bas Reefman (8th) helped them score maximum points in the Boys 50m Backstroke event.
Elsewhere, Honsberger’s second place in the 50m Freestyle event helped DIA to a third-place finish overall; Emanuele Grenci’s bronze medal in the Boys 50m Breaststroke helped DIA take first place in that event; and there was also a gold medal for the Boys 4x50m Medley Relay team.
In the field events, Greta Schmedes (2nd) and Chiara Roest (5th) helped DIA win the Girls High Jump, and there was a silver medal for Emma Leece in the Girls Javelin.
Fifth place in the overall points table were GEMS Modern Academy, who recorded a string of impressive results in the athletic events.
In particular, Jonathan Biju Philip’s gold and Nafees Ahamed’s silver in the Boys 600m saw them dominate that particular event, whilst Philip’s also took gold in the 1200m. GEMS Modern Academy also came out on top in the Boys 100m and 200m races thanks to the performances of Ahaan Shetty and Aditya Nair, with Nair going on to win the Boys Long Jump event.
In the pool, Pranjal Pandey took gold in the Boys 50m Butterfly and Stuti Mathur won gold in the Girls 50m Breaststroke, with the girls also winning the 4x50m Freestyle Relay (A).
GEMS First Point finished the tournament in sixth place – a massive twelve places higher than they did in the U11 tournament just a few weeks ago.
They can be massively proud of how their football teams performed; the boys amassed 11 points in the group stage, whilst the girls finished third in the overall competition.
They also won the Boys High Jump thanks to the combined results of Yassin El Tabaa (2nd) and Zaid Abu Sidu (4th), and came out on top in the Boys Shot Putt thanks to Jake Walker (2nd) and Youssef Hassan (3rd). Walker’s bronze medal in the Javelin also helped his school finish second in that event.
Just a few points behind First Point were fellow Dubai school GEMS Metropole. Their impressive final position was thanks in large part to their boys’ football team, who won the event. They scored 14 goals and conceded just two en route to topping their group, and in student Zane they had the highest scorer in the competition.
They also enjoyed success in the pool: they won the Boys 50m Freestyle event thanks to Ben Sage’s bronze medal and Belal Isaac’s fifth place finish, and Adel El Seidy’s gold medal in the Boys 50m Breaststroke helped them to a second-place finish in that event.
When we spoke to German International School ahead of the tournament, they admitted they weren’t expecting extraordinary results because they’re relatively new to competitive sport and were more focussed on the experience the students would gain from the tournament.
Therefore, we imagine they’ll be delighted with their team’s performance - finishing in ninth place and racking up 250 points.
A large proportion of those points came in the football where their boys team finished third overall, picking up 12 points in their group stage matches.
Away from the football pitch there was respectable fourth place finishes in the Boys Long Jump, Girls High Jump and Girls 100m.
In the pool, Feras Farghal finished 6th in the Boys 50m Backstroke as GIS finished the event fourth overall.
A mere five points behind GIS finished Raha International.
The Abu Dhabi school performed remarkably consistently across all events and were perhaps only one or two big results away from competing at the very top of the leaderboard.
Hastings Small secured a fantastic bronze medal in the Girls 600m, and her sixth-place finish – along with Rafi Barrack’s fifth place – helped Raha finish second in the 1200m event.
Elsewhere, they claimed impressive 4th place finishes in the Girls 4x50m (A) Relay and the Girls 50m Butterfly in the pool.
For more information on who won what, a comprehensive rundown of all the World School Games results can be found at: http://wsgevents.com/results