2022 Arab Championships
- Wednesday, July 20 – Sunday, July 24, 2022
- Oran, Algeria
- Aquatic Center of the Olympic Complex Miloud Hadefi
- LCM (50 meters)
After hosting the Mediterranean Games earlier in July, Algeria played host to the 2022 Arab Championships last weekend. Over the course of the meet, there were many national records broken, stroke event sweeps, and four different swimmers racking up four individual wins.
12 nations competed at the 5th Arab Championships: Algeria, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Tunisia, Kuwait, Libya, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Sudan.
Final Medal Table
National Records Highlights
Perhaps the most impressive national record of the meet was Abobakr Abbas‘s 50 breast. Abbas set a new Sudanese record in the event, clocking 29.47 to take 7.75 seconds (yes, you read that right) off the old mark set in 2015. Abbas’s previous best was 30.50, but that swim doesn’t appear to have been ratified. Abbas set two other Sudanese marks this weekend, bettering his previous records in the 100 and 200 breaststrokes. He went 1:04.24 and 2:21.75, respectively. That 200 breast time represents a three second drop for him.
Qatar’s Abdulaziz Al-Obaidly also set a trio of national records. In the 200 breast, he became the first Qatari man under 2:20, clocking 2:19.99 to cut almost six seconds off the old record. Then, he swam 2:10.18 to better his old record of 2:11.80 by more than a second. His third Qatari record of the meet was the 400 IM, where he touched in 4:37.89. On their website, the Qatar Swimming Association has him owning these records in faster times, but we can’t find those results nor do they appear to be recognized anywhere else.
Algeria almost completely rewrote their relay record book. In their home pool, the men set new national records in the 4×100 free and 4×100 medley relays. Jaouad Syoud and Oussama Sahnoune factored on both relays. Next, the women broke the 4×100 medley record by a second, taking the mark under 4:20 for the first time. Finally, they broke both mixed relay records, with Syoud once again a part of both teams, along with Nesrine Medjahed.
Amro Al-Wir helped set two Jordanian records. First, he broke his own record in the 50 breast, clocking 28.68 and winning the bronze medal. Then, he swam the second leg of Jordan’s 4×100 free relay. There, the team swam 3:32.89 to break the mark from 2018, which stood at 3:32.89.
Top Swimmers of the Meet
Farida Osman cleaned up at these championships, winning four individual events: 50 free, 100 free, 50 fly, and 100 fly. At Worlds, Osman set Egyptian records in both the 50 and 100 fly. She was off those marks here, but still won definitively. The other woman with four individual victories was Hamida Rania Nefsi. Nefsi won the 100 breast, 200 breast, and both IMs, setting personal bests in both breaststrokes.
Behind Osman, Medjahed collected medals in the same four events, three silvers and one bronze. Medjahed swam 57.21 in the 100 free, a new personal best and within one second of Amel Melih‘s Algerian 100 free record. Earlier this month, Melih and Medjahed were the front half of the 4×100 free relay that set an Algerian record at the Mediterranean Games. With Medjahed edging closer to Melih’s mark, the two are becoming a strong 1-2 punch for Algeria in the 100 free.
Egypt’s Samiha Mohsen swept the backstrokes, winning by a wide margin in each distance. She swam 1:03.65 to set a new lifetime best in the 100. In the 200 back, she dropped three seconds from her best, touching in 2:20.00. Both of her previous bests were set at the African Championships last October.
There were two swimmers on the men’s side who each came away with four individual golds. Marwan Elkamash swept the 200/400/800/1500 free. In the 200, he out-touched countrymate Yassine El Shammaa and got within two seconds of his own national record. He won his other events much more decisively, though he was off time lifetime bests he set at 2022 Worlds in the 800 and 1500. Together, he and Osman accounted for about a third of Egypt’s 23 gold medals.
Syoud won the 200 breast, 200 fly, 200 IM, and 400 IM. In the 200 breast, Syoud clocked 2:13.35 for a new national record. At 22-years-old, he now owns six individual Algerian records, and is a part of four national relay record teams. Notably, he was the only man under 2 minutes in both the 200 fly and 200 IM.
Finally, Youssef Ramadan collected three medals: gold in the 100 fly, and silver in both the 50 and 100 free. Ramadan was a force to be reckoned with in the NCAA last season, and he’s continued to grow in long course this summer. Ramadan swam 22.57 in the 50 free, 49.40 in the 100 free, and 52.15 in the 100 fly. Those marks are slightly off his bests, but are strong swims for Ramadan to build on as he prepares to return to Virginia Tech.