Sport still making progress in Libya despite harsh conditions

TRIPOLI,

Amid harsh conditions experienced by Libya, the year passed with its sweet and bitter times for Libyan sport, and a new year starts with an uncertain future.

The year 2019 does not differ much from the previous years for our sport, as it saw many positive achievements in addition to countless failures. However, the successes achieved by champions, particularly in individual disciplines and by individual efforts, certainly represent bright spots.

Like Hamdou El-Houni, who won the CAF Champions League title with Esperance of Tunis and won the title of top scorer in the Club World Cup, after he became the first African and Arab player to score a hat-trick in the same tournament – becoming only the fourth player to do so after Cristiano Ronaldo, Suarez and Gareth Bale.

World champion Kamal Al-Qarqani won the Mister Olympia title in bodybuilding, and Abu Ajila Abulas won international medals in classic bodybuilding as well. Noteworthy also is Malik Zinad who, with his mighty punch, continues to knock out all his opponents in the world of boxing.

Also, in 2019, the Libyan rower Hussain Qanbor qualified for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, athlete Ali Saeed Al-Nali was crowned with a gold medal in the African Open in Judo, and Alaa Al-Qaziri obtained a silver medal in the Arab Cycling Championship.

Libyan gymnastics made history by winning three medals at the World Gymnastics Club Championship in Serbia, while chess player Youssef Al-Hassadi won several tournaments, including the Arena in Alexandria.

Powerlifting also brought many necklaces in the African Championship in South Africa, and iron ball qualified for the World Cup, in addition to the game of fencing, which won a number of regional medals.

As for the collective games, especially football, the failure was due to the ban imposed on the Libyan fans as a result of the current security and political events. It suffered a lot from playing outside the country after Libya bid farewell to the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers against South Africa, and the local team’s exit from the qualifying matches against Tunisia. The only positive result was a win against Tanzania in the new African Cup qualifiers.

At the club level, the Al Nasr team was able to realize its first important result by qualifying to the group stage of the Confederation Cup, while Al Ittihad was eliminated from the same tournament as early as the second round, despite providing an outstanding performance. Meanwhile, the Libyan Football Association failed to organize a local league championship due to the current conditions in the country. Libyans hope that conditions will improve to make the new year, 2020 full of achievements

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