We've reported over the weekend that Qatar's all-women team won the West Asia Rugby Championship for the second time in a row, after beating the Lebanese side 22-5 in their final match at the Aspire Academy's Warm Up Track last Friday (April 5, 2019), amid large public attendance.
The Qatar Camels also celebrated a third-place finish for the Qatar B team, after they beat Jordan 27-5 in the third-place playoff.
Rugby’s history, much to many people's surprise, dates back to 1823 and was traditionally popular amongst the Western and European nations. However, it did'nt make a hit in Doha until 1974 when some British expats started throwing a ball around on a sandy pitch West Bay.
The ILQ team had a chance to have word with the winning team's captain Yasmin al-Dahabi, who was as well adjudged as the best player of the tournament.
When asked about how it feels to win the West Asia title for two consecutive years, she shared that their victory actually hasn't sunk in yet and everyone's still in cloud nine after all their hard work paid off upon being announced as champs.
She continued by saying that unlike the recently-concluded Asian Games, the West Asia rugby competition, fortunately, hasn’t been immensely affected by the blockade despite their club teams being unable to compete in the UAE league.
"However, the Qatar Rugby Federation has significantly expanded the women’s league locally giving us more opportunities than ever to play in Qatar and our coach Hassan has been a great motivation and inspiration, training us hard and pushes us to be the best that we can be."
Divided into two categories (Juniors and Seniors), Yasmin and the rest of the girls are downright proud with their latest achievement and said that they'd like to tell the world "thank you" for giving them the chance to showcase what they've got.
"Thank you to the women who paved the way for us to be able to play rugby, thank you to those who support women in rugby. We are so happy that the sport is growing, and we would encourage everyone to give it a go."
Winning the West Asia title means that the all-women team is heading to Jakarta, Indonesia in August for the Asian Championships and Yasmin is confident that her team is stronger than ever.
"Jakarta is going to be our biggest competition yet. Our coach has given us a week off after our recent win, but next week we will start training again. The focus at the moment is on what we all as individuals need to work on after game analysis from the tournament, but as the tournament nears closer, we will be training almost every day."
Yasmin believes that Qatar has already been recognised as a main global sporting hub because besides hosting the 2022 FIFA World Cup, it has the 2006 Asian Games, Asian Cup 2019 win, an annual Sport Day, as well as the fact that it houses some of the best sporting facilities in the world currently under its belt.
"Our win, combined with the men’s team winning the West Asia Division 3 Championship and the U18 15 team winning the Challenge Cup against Lebanon in their first international fixture, is indeed another step forward for Qatar."
Moreover, a report by Qatar daily The Gulf Times said that the Asian federation has praised the organisational level of this year's tournament at Aspire Academy which led to an offer to submit a bid to host the 2022 World Cup Rugby Sevens.
The Qatar Camels team, consists of 25 ladies from diverse backgrounds but mostly brought up and raised in Doha, had won the same title in Lebanon last year.
The Qatar Rugby Federation is the governing body of rugby in the State of Qatar and is a full member of Asia Rugby and affiliated with the Qatar Olympic Committee.
To know more about Qatar's National Rugby Team, check out their social media links below!
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