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LAU athletes bond during international sports tournament

April 7, 2008—

Around 120 LAU student athletes showed great teamwork and mutual support in the Second American College of Greece International Sports Tournament in Athens last month, and returned to Lebanon with new friendships and titles.

The men’s and women’s teams from both campuses competed with counterparts from seven other universities from Lebanon, Greece, Egypt, and the UAE in various sports, such as table tennis, tennis, basketball, soccer, volleyball, and swimming.

The tournament gave teammates the opportunity to develop strong bonds with one another. “We had chemistry on and off the court that helped us improve our game as a team unit,” said Tarek Mahmoud, the Beirut men’s basketball team captain, who has been playing with LAU for four years.

In addition, the LAU teams cheered on and supported one another during the games, according to many participants. Lama Masri, who is on the Beirut women’s soccer team, said that the encouragement from other LAU team members inspired hope and confidence to them. “It was a great atmosphere. LAU teams were very supportive to us when they had the chance to watch us,” added Mahmoud. His coach, Martin Mugharbil, agreed; “You could see the volleyball or soccer players cheering for the basketball team … We were all one big team.”

The games started as soon as the participants arrived in Greece on March 20. Many teams followed a rigorous three-day schedule—with competitions taking place from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily—sometimes playing two strenuous matches one after another.

Despite the demanding program, the delegation, which also included the Beirut and Byblos Deans of Students Tarek Na’was and Mars Semaan, returned to Lebanon after four days with several medals and achievements. To learn about all the results, see the table at the end of the page.

Referring to her gold medal in table tennis, Chystel Jalkh, a third-year pharmacy student from Byblos, said, “Winning this tournament was so special to me. It is the first time that I travel with the university teams and play outside Lebanon…[and] hopefully this victory will be a good start. Raising high the Lebanese and LAU flags made me proud and meant a lot to me.”

At the closing ceremony, awards of best sportsmanship were distributed to all the teams and universities. Afterwards, a social gathering featuring Arabic music and belly dancing was held. During their free time, students also had a chance to socialize and go sightseeing.

The LAU athletics teams usually take part in a tournament every year. In the past four years, they went twice to both Greece and France. Throughout the year, they also compete with other university teams in Lebanon, and participate in campus activities, such as festivals and award ceremonies.

Results Team/Athlete
First place Byblos women’s table tennis, Chrystel Jalkh
First place Beirut women’s swimming, Aline Hatab
First place Beirut women’s swimming, Deema Saidi
First place Beirut women’s swimming, Zeina Mikati
First place Beirut women’s swimming, Carmen Bsaibes
Second place Beirut women’s tennis, Nevine Kuzbari
Second place Beirut men’s basketball
Second place Beirut women’s basketball
Second place Beirut women’s soccer
Second place Beirut men’s swimming, Charles Kehdi
Second place Women’s swimming team (in overall standings)
Third place Beirut women’s table tennis, Sereen Malak
Third place Byblos men’s basketball
Third place Beirut women’s volleyball
Third place Beirut men’s swimming, Hamad Abdel Ghani
Third place Beirut men’s swimming, Afif Rustom
Third place Beirut men’s swimming, Marc Chehwan
Third place Men’s swimming team (in overall standings)
Fourth place Beirut men’s soccer

 


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