The American University in Cairo (AUC) recently won 38 medals, 20 of which were gold, even breaking an Egyptian national record along the way in The American University of Beirut (AUB) President’s Club International Sports Tournament. The 11 AUC teams competing in the tournament consisted of football (men), futsal (women), volleyball (men), basketball (men and women), swimming (men and women), water polo (men), tennis (men and women) and rugby (men). “This was a very important tournament, as the other participating universities are our main international competitors," said Louise Bertini, AUC athletics director. "Having competed against many of the various universities at previous competitions, this tournament is a great way for AUC students to compete on an international stage, while also giving them an opportunity to mix with other cultures and countries. It also opens up many new opportunities for AUC students to both represent their country and University while making new friends in the process.”
In addition to AUC and AUB, the tournament included teams from the American University in Dubai (AUD), American College of Greece (ACG) and seven universities from Lebanon: Lebanese American University (LAU) Beirut and Byblos, Saint Joseph University (USJ), University of Holy Spirit Kaslik (USEK), University of Balamand (UOB), Haigazian University (HU), Beirut Arab University (BAU) and Antonine University (UA).
AUC’s 20 gold medals were won by the women’s basketball, men’s rugby, men’s water polo, men and women’s tennis, as well as men and women’s swimming teams. Reflecting on his team’s victory, senior Saif Diab said, “It was a great feeling winning our first ever international cup for the men’s rugby team.”
Particularly dominant at the tournament were men and women’s swimming, winning a total of 15 gold, 14 silver and three bronze medals. Twelve AUC team records were broken during the course of the competition, culminating on the last day of competition with the men’s 4 X 50 medley relay not only breaking the AUC team record, but the Egyptian national record (short course meters) as well.
At many intense moments of the tournament, AUC faced off directly against AUB, yet the women’s basketball, men’s rugby and men’s water polo teams all proved victorious in the final games.
At the competition Bertini also explored with athletic directors of participating universities the idea of creating an international sporting league for American universities to ensure more regular international competitions. "This would not only motivate AUC student athletes to participate more, but would also help to elevate the level of international competition between both European and Middle Eastern universities," she said.