Middle East Best Sports Performance of Last Year
Every year, we see so much growth and potential in Middle Eastern sports. Despite the fact that many events in the UAE were cancelled due to the pandemic, Arab athletes have proven to be among the best in a variety of sports, including football, swimming, running, taekwondo, and others.
Female athletes have also made their countries proud by winning medals and making an impact with their stellar performance, so the field is not limited to male athletes only.
In this article, we will talk about the top Arab players and their performance in 2021. Let’s get started!
Mohamed Salah has been crowned as the most important Arab athlete of 2021 by Hashem Ali of Arabicbet.org. He is an Egyptian professional footballer who plays for the club Liverpool as a forward and captain of the Egyptian National Team. He had an amazing year in 2021 and proved himself yet again as the best Arab footballer of his time. He scored 40 goals and 16 assists for his club and scored 100 goals total in 2021. He also helped his national team reach the final stage of the 2022 World Cup qualifiers.
He started his senior career in 2010 and is one of the most highly paid Egyptian players of all time. He was also named the CAF African Footballer of the Year in 2017 and 2018. In 2022, Salah is hoping to win another Champions League and create an impact in the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
Rababe Arafi is a Moroccan middle-distance runner that specializes in 1500 meters. She holds the Moroccan national record in the mile run. She started her international career in 2007 and has represented Morocco in World Championships in Athletics in 2013, 2015, and 2017.
She is a three-time medalist in the African Championships in Athletics and is one of the top Arab players and female athletes. She also competed in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and placed fifth in the 1500 meters race.
Achraf Hakimi is a professional footballer and one of the best Middle East sports performers in 2021. He plays for Morocco’s national team and also as a right wing-back for Paris Saint-Germain. Achraf Hakimi started his football career by joining Real Madrid’s youth setup in 2006 and made his debut in the team at the first match of the 2016 International Champions Cup. He scored his first goal in La-Liga in a win against Sevilla.
In 2021, he scored 3 goals and 3 assists for his new club and 2 goals, and 1 assist for his country’s national team. He is considered one of the best attacking full-backs in the world.
Riyad Mahrez is another professional Arab footballer who plays for Manchester City as a winger and is also the captain of Algeria’s national team. He started his professional career as a youth player for French Club AAS Sarcelles. He switched many teams before signing up for Leicester City, where he helped them win the Championship.
He joined Manchester City in 2018 and won the Premier League, EFL, and FA Cup in his first season. He was also named the CAF’s African Footballer of the Year in 2016. In 2021, he was shortlisted for the Ballon d’Or and GOAL50 because of his phenomenal performance the previous year with 28 goals and 16 assists and helping his team reach the Champions Premier League.
Hedaya Malak is an Egyptian taekwondo practitioner. She started at the age of 6 and won Egypt’s Championship when she was 14. She participated in the 2012 London Olympics and reached the quarterfinals. She also participated in the 2016 Rio Olympics and won the bronze medal by defeating Raheleh Asemani.
She also represented Egypt in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and won the women’s 67kg taekwondo’s bronze-medal event. She is the only female athlete to win two medals in two consecutive Olympics.
Besides these, many other amazing male and female Arab athletes have significantly contributed to the sports world. New talent is also emerging every year, and we hope to see more phenomenal performances from our top and favorite players in 2022. We hope this article helped!
Blais scores twice, Canada beats Germany 5-2 to win gold at men’s hockey worlds
TAMPERE, Finland — Sammy Blais scored twice as Canada beat Germany 5-2 to capture gold at the men’s world hockey championship today.
Lawson Crouse, captain Tyler Toffoli and Scott Laughton also scored, and Peyton Krebs pitched in two assists for Canada.
“It feels really good,” Blais said. “We’ve been in Europe for a month and we’ve all waited for that moment to play for the gold-medal game. And we’re lucky enough to have won it.”
JJ Peterka and Daniel Fischbuch scored for Germany, which was in the gold-medal game for the first time since 1992 when the playoff format was introduced at the world championship. Moritz Seider added two assists.
Goaltender Samuel Montembeault made 21 saves for Canada, while German netminder Mathias Niederberger turned away 23 shots.
Canada won gold for the second time in three years after losing to Finland in overtime in last year’s world championship gold-medal game. It’s Canada’s 28th title at the event, the most of any country. Canada also has 16 silver and eight bronze medals from the tourney since 1931.
“I could not be more proud of this group. We battled through a lot of adversity and doubt to get to this point, and this win is so special,” Toffoli said. “We have such a close-knit team that came together quickly, and we always believed in each other.
“Everyone bought in and we played a great game today, and I am incredibly happy to be going back to Canada with a gold medal.”
Peterka opened the scoring for Germany at 7:44 of the first period with a wrist shot from the top of the left circle off a breakout that beat Montembeault.
Blais responded three minutes later, scoring in his third consecutive game after finishing off a pass from centre Peyton Krebs on a two-on-one to tie the game at 1-1.
Fischbuch gave Germany the lead again on a one-timer from the slot that trickled into the net 13:47 into the second period.
Canada replied with Crouse deflecting a pass from Krebs on the power play with 2:32 remaining in the second frame.
Blais then buried his second of the game 4:51 into the third period with a backhand off a rebound to put Canada ahead.
Toffoli added an insurance marker with eight minutes left, scoring with a wrist shot on a two-on-one to make it 4-2 in favour of Canada.
Laughton scored into an empty net with two minutes left to put the game out of reach.
“The commitment of everyone on our team was unbelievable. We knew we had to come here and play for each other and commit to a team game. We came here to represent Canada and make our country proud, and I am so blessed to be a part of this group,” said head coach André Tourigny.
“Our players wanted to win so bad. They wanted to bring a gold medal back to Canada, and when you have that mindset you can accomplish great things, and we did that tonight.”
Following the gold-medal game, MacKenzie Weegar was named best defenceman of the tournament and was selected to the media all-star team. Crouse, Montembeault and Weegar were also named Team Canada’s three best players of the tournament following the semifinals.
LATVIA 4 UNITED STATES 3 (OT)
Defenceman Kristian Rubins scored his second goal 1:22 into overtime to lead Latvia to victory over the United States and earn a bronze medal earlier Sunday.
It’s the first top-three finish for Latvia at the tournament. Its previous best was a seventh place it managed three times.
The U.S. lost in the bronze-medal game for the second straight year. The U.S. team was cruising through the tournament with eight straight wins until it was defeated by Germany in the semifinal, 4-3 in overtime.
Rubins rallied Latvia with his first with 5:39 to go in the final period to tie the game at -33 to force overtime.
Roberts Bukarts and Janis Jaks also scored for Latvia.
Rocco Grimaldi scored twice for the U.S. in the opening period to negate Latvia’s 1-0 and 2-1 leads.
Matt Coronato had put the U.S. 3-2 ahead 6:19 into the final period.
This report from The Canadian Press was first published May 28, 2023.
Stars stay alive with 4-2 road victory over Golden Knights
Dallas Stars celebrate after defeating the Vegas Golden Knights in Game 5 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Western Conference finals Saturday, May 27, 2023, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
By Mark Anderson in Las Vegas
LAS VEGAS (AP) — With Dallas’ season on the line, the Stars got two critical goals from a player who was a healthy scratch the first two games of the Western Conference final.
Ty Dellandrea’s goals came within a 1:27 span midway through the third period, and the Stars beat the Vegas Golden Knights 4-2 on Saturday to keep alive their hopes of advancing to the Stanley Cup final to face the Florida Panthers.
“He’s one of the best guys I’ve ever played with,” said Stars goalie Jake Oettinger, who made 27 saves. “He deserves every opportunity he gets, and there’s no one happier for him than the guys in this room.
“It shows how special you are when you get taken out. He didn’t make it about him. He needed the opportunity to step up, and that’s what he did.”
The Stars escaped elimination for the second straight game and head to Dallas for Game 6 on Monday night down 3-2. Dallas is attempting to become the fifth team in NHL history to win a series after being down 3-0.
And look who’s back for the Stars? Captain Jamie Benn returns after a two-game suspension for his cross-check to the neck of Vegas captain Mark Stone in Game 3. That was the only game in this series that was decided early, and until Saturday the Stars hadn’t even had a multigoal lead.
“I know our group, and we weren’t happy about being in the hole we were in, and they decided to do something about it,” Stars coach Pete DeBoer said. “And now we’re rolling.”
The only problem for DeBoer was waiting two days to play Game 6.
“Drop the puck,” he said.
DeBoer said before the game if his team won, the pressure would shift to the Knights. Now it’s up to them to respond after twice being a period away from playing in the Stanley Cup final and letting both opportunities slip away.
“I don’t think we brought our best the last two games,” Stone said. “We were still in a good spot to win the game. We’ve got to bring a little bit better effort and start playing a little more desperate.”
Vegas coach Bruce Cassidy said “it’s a very good question” why his team didn’t play with more desperation, but he also wasn’t thrilled with the Knights’ execution.
“We had 24 giveaways,” Cassidy said. “I’m not sure you’re beating the Arizona Coyotes in January with 24 giveaways. That’s no disrespect to Arizona, but it’s not the right way to play.”
Dellandrea found the right way to play and put together the first multigoal playoff game of his career. Jason Robertson and Luke Glendening also scored, and Thomas Harley had two assists.
Chandler Stephenson and Ivan Barbashev scored for the Knights, and Jonathan Marchessault had two assists to extend his points streak to four games. Adin Hill made 30 saves.
Dellandrea scored from the right circle to put Dallas ahead, the puck deflecting off Vegas defenceman Alex Pietrangelo with 9:25 left for a 3-2 lead. Then, Dellandrea scored from the slot with 7:58 remaining.
Dellandrea said the older players kept him motivated when he was temporarily sidelined.
“There’s no denying it’s hard,” he said. “I’m thankful for a good group of character guys, and you’ve just got to stay ready.”
The teams traded goals in the first two periods.
Jack Eichel battled two Stars players for the puck in Vegas’ offensive zone, and then Barbashev swooped in and made a fantastic move to glide past Oettinger and score with 6:24 left in the first period. The Stars wasted little time in answering when Glendening scored on a deflection less than two minutes later.
Dallas was robbed of what looked like a sure goal when Hill snagged a point-blank shot from Roope Hintz, who then threw his back in disbelief.
Like in the first period, the Knights had a goal in the second quickly answered by one from the Stars. Stephenson scored from the left circle at 16:40 of the period, and Robertson knocked his own rebounds 2:09 later to make it 2-2. Stephenson tied the Knights’ record with his eight playoff goal this year, and Robertson had his fifth of the series.
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