On Your Marks…

Talented track and field athletes captivate at the third GEMS Athletics Cup.

The GEMS Athletics Cup is one of the top competitions in the GEMS Sports Series, and this year saw more than 700 athletes from 24 GEMS Education schools across the UAE compete in various track and field disciplines. GEMS Modern Academy (GMA) hosted the event held over four days in March 2019.

The buzz around the Athletics Cup was huge and created the perfect atmosphere, as the 24 teams of boys and 20 teams of girls from schools across the GEMS Education network battled it out over 62 events to win the coveted trophies. This year saw a good spread of schools receiving 25 trophies.

GMA repeated its consistently strong performances, with the school’s most promising athletes winning first place in three age group categories — U10 (Girls), U12 (Boys), and U14 (Girls). They were followed by Our Own High School — Al Warqaa (OOW) which won first place in the U14 (Boys) and U-16 (Boys) age group.

Joining the leaderboard this season is The Winchester School – Jebel Ali (TWS), claiming the top spot in the U12 (Girls) and U16 (Girls), and Jumeirah Primary School (JPS) winning the U10 (Boys). While several athletes tried to maintain their previous records, the event saw some outstanding individual displays.

Several new records were set across schools in the U10, U12, U14 and U16 age groups for both boys and girls, across all events, which included races in the 100m, 200m, and 800m, as well as the high jump, long jump, shot put, and relays. One of the highlights of the U10 category was Mesha Fernandes from GMA, who broke the tournament record in the 100m race with a new time of 14:19. The girls impressed the crowd with their performance in the long jump. Jumeirah Primary School (JPS) student, Adrianna Menham, achieved a recordbreaking distance of 3.78m to win the U10 category. Gabriela Sangil from GEMS Winchester School (WIN) won the U12 age group by reaching 3.61m, and Katie Robinson from GEMS Wellington Academy — Silicon Oasis (WSO) broke last season’s record with a new distance of 4.21m, claiming top spot in the U14 category.

Tarun Baburaj from GMA was victorious in the U14 boys high jump, reaching 1.53m and narrowly beating the previously held record of 1.51m. GEMS FirstPoint School — The Villa (FPS) student Billie Bonjean won the U14 girls’ category by reaching a height of 1.35m. In the shotput event, GMA Athletes Rishima Sapru and Sachien Fernando reached new distances of 8.55m and 10.48m in the U12 and U16 categories respectively, while Cambridge High School — Abu Dhabi (CHS) student Yayin Kiran reached 8.30m to win the U10 category.

The overall points table shifted continuously throughout the tournament, reflecting every participant’s commitment to winning a medal for their school. The final points tally was:
• U10 (Girls): GEMS Modern Academy — 40 Points
• U10 (Boys): GEMS Jumeirah Primary School — 25 Points
• U12 (Girls): The Winchester School — Jebel Ali — 46 Points
• U12 (Boys): GEMS Modern Academy — 56 Points
• U14 (Girls): GEMS Modern Academy – 37 Points
• U14 (Boys): Our Own High School — Al Warqa’a — 43 Points
• U16 (Girls): The Winchester School — Jebel Ali — 45 Points
• U16 (Boys): Our Own High School — Al Warqa’a — 47 Points

Participants in the GEMS Athletics Cup were extremely competitive but also characteristically respectful toward their opponents, while receiving morale boosts from their friends and families in the crowd. James Bowring, Managing Director, ESM, said, “Under the umbrella of the GEMS Sports Series, our aim is to develop creative and skilled players with good confidence at a young age and we are glad that the GEMS Athletics Cup is one of the many events through which our athletes in the UAE can excel in sports.”

Athletics cop 04