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Jordan plays Saudi in basketball quarterfinals

By Aline Bannayan - Oct 02,2023 - Last updated at Oct 03,2023

AMMAN — Jordan plays Saudi Arabia on Tuesday in the basketball quarterfinals at the 19th Asian Games currently under way in Hangzhou, China, after finishing atop Group C beating the Philippines 87-62, Bahrain 84-60 and Thailand 97-63 .

Saudi Arabia beat Hong Kong 95-72 in the match on Monday. Alongside Jordan, Iran, Japan and China automatically moved to the quarters and will face Philippines , Chinese Taipei and Korea respectively.

The squad just played their third World Cup after previously reaching the world’s premier event in 2010, 2019 with basketball being the only Jordanian team to reach a World Cup in a team sport alongside the junior men’s team in 1995. 

The Games which run until October 8 and have 12,000 athletes from 45 countries competing, have so far seen Jordan pick up just three medals — all in taekwondo — with Saleh Sharabati (U80kg) and Zaid Mustafa (U68kg) securing silver, while Zaid Halawani (U63kg) won bronze.

Sharabati, the Tokyo Olympics silver medalist, now ranked 3rd in the world is eyeing the Paris Olympics 2024.

Athletes who were expected to play for medals were eliminated including Jordan’s 2018 Asian Games gold medalist taekwondo’s Juliana Al Sadiq, who won silver at the 2023 World Championship, and boxing’s Mohammad Abu Jajeh who won bronze at the 2023 IBA World Boxing Championships as well as Pan-Arab Games champ Ziyad Esheish who was eliminated.

Another athlete eliminated early was gymnastics star Ahmad Abu Saoud on the pommel horse. Back from injury, he made a name for himself and country when he won  silver at the 2022 World Artistic Gymnastics Championship in Liverpool, becoming the first Arab to win a medal in the event. He won the gold at the Asian Championship in 2019 and 2022 and silver in 2023. Abu Saoud is now eyeing the  Paris Olympics 2024.

The Kingdom’s  delegation includes 79 athletes competing in  15 sports: Archery, athletics, badminton, basketball, boxing, fencing, golf, gymnastics, ju-jitsu, karate, shooting, taekwondo, weightlifting, triathlon and e-games.

So far, China, Korea and Japan dominate the medals table. Arab countries on the medals table are led by Bahrain (8), Qatar (7), Kuwait (5), UAE (6), Saudi Arabia (3), Jordan (3),  Oman, Iraq and Lebanon (1).

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