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Jordan finishes with 9 medals at Asian Games

By Aline Bannayan - Oct 07,2023 - Last updated at Oct 07,2023

AMMAN — Jordan’s medal tally at the 19thAsian Games currently under way in Hangzhou, Chinawent up to 9 on the weekend, with karate adding three medals on Saturday before the competition comes to a close on Sunday.

Jordan finished with five silver and four bronze medals in three competitions: Karate, taekwondo and basketball while 12 sports were eliminated including boxing, gymnastics and ju-jitsu which were expected to win.

On Saturday, Taekwondo’s Abdul Rahman Masatfeh added a silver (U67kg), teammate Mohammad Ja’fari added a bronze (U84kg) and Joud Darous won a bronze ( U67kg). 

With two previous medals on the weekend, by Hasan Masarweh who won silver in karate (U75kg) and teammate Abdullah Hammad a bronze ( U60kg), the three medals on the final day of Jordan’s competition brought the medals won by karate to 5.

Jordan had earlier secured three medals in taekwondo — two silvers by Saleh Sharabati (U80kg) and Zaid Mustafa (U68kg), and one bronze by Zaid Halawani (U63kg). Sharabati, the Tokyo Olympics silver medalist, now ranked 3rd in the world is eyeing the  Paris Olympics 2024

On Friday, another historic silver medal was added by the basketball team, after Jordan reached the final and secured the first ever team sports medal. However, the silver was more like a loss for Jordanian fans who had anticipated the nation’s team would win after an unbeaten streak in the event and repeat their  victory over the Philippines in the first round.

The basketball final was a setback for fans as the team seemed to lack the fighting spirit that enabled them to jump back after disappointing last place finish at the World Cup.

The Philippines team was fast, and adamant to win while Jordan played their worst game and lost 70-60 to settle for second.Most of the match, the lineup seemed to lack the cohesive teamwork as Rondae Hollis-Jefferson singlehandedly tried to reignite thelineup that was behind 17-12 at end of quarter one before the Philippines lead 28-15.

Hollis-Jefferson, Freddie Ibrahim and Sami Bza’i scored 4 consecutive three pointers to tie the match 29-29 before quarter two ended 31-31.

The Philippines took charge of  third quarter limiting the effective scoring and rebounding of Jordan’s towering Ahmad Dweiri who was given a break as Ahmad Hamarsheh and Mohammad Shaher were given play timeending the quarter 51-41.

Jordan seemed to be always trying to catch up with the Philippines continuing to play a fast-paced game that enabled them to win the low scoring match 70-60 with Jordan’s bench clearly not up to par and limiting the squad’s chances of securing easier wins over opponents.

Observers noted it will be imperative that sports federations are assessed with the Jordan Olympic Committee after all teams,apart from taekwondo,karate and basketball eliminated.

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