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Aramco firefighters shine at World Games

Aramco firefighters participated in the 14th edition of the World Firefighters Games 2022 (WFG2022), which was held at the Games Village in Lisbon University Stadium and other locations throughout Lisbon, Portugal, from April 30 to May 7.

Aramco firefighters shine at World Games

Aramco firefighters did their nation and company proud by scooping 11 medals (one gold, two silver, and eight bronze) as part of the 14th edition of the World Firefighters Games 2022 (WFG2022), which was held at the Games Village in Lisbon University Stadium and other locations throughout Lisbon, Portugal, from April 30 to May 7.

Ten of the Aramco Fire Protection Department’s (FrPD) fittest firefighters competed in 10 sporting disciplines, including volleyball, a stair run challenge, arm wrestling, the Toughest Firefighter Alive (TFA) challenge, football, a 100 meter sprint, 4 × 100 meter relay, 4 × 400 meter relay, 5 km road race and 2,000 m row. The team’s training for the highly competitive games coincided with the holy month of Ramadan, making their victories even more admirable.

“FrPD participation in the World Firefighters’ Games 2022 is a golden opportunity to show off our capabilities as a fire service accredited organization in Aramco and to represent our loved country, Saudi Arabia,” said Albadr M. Jannah. “I, as the department manager, am very proud of the team achievements and accomplishments and much honored to be part of this great department.”

Founded in 1990, the WFGs is an international sporting event that welcomes all full-time, part-time, and volunteer firefighters as well as the families of fire service personnel to enter from all across the globe. The games are held biennially in different countries and offer more than 50 different sporting events and challenges. The purpose of the games is to promote health and fitness, foster comradeship, and to provide a forum for information exchange between fire services and encourage family participation.

Participants of WFG2022 don’t view it as a mere competition but an event that unites people from distant locations under one roof. “Such an event helps promote knowledge exchange as a huge number of firefighters from different countries and different backgrounds gather in one place,” said firefighter Ali H. Alsanawi, a member of the Aramco team.

During the opening ceremony, the mayor of Lisbon, Carlos Moedas, delivered the opening speech followed by 2,500 firefighters representing 42 countries participating in an athletes’ parade and an address by the president of Portugal, Marcelo R. de Sousa. 

On Sunday, May 1, Aramco’s WFG2022 team took part in the volleyball competition and competed in the outdoor stair run challenge, which consisted of 287 steps and 253 meters of positive climbing through the city center streets of Lisbon. The team members displayed high levels of fitness and endurance during the challenge, earning them a number of awards. Fahad O. Aljaafri came in second and took home the silver medal, while Alsanawi came in third and was awarded a bronze medal, in their respective age groups. Abdulrahman S. Khurayji came in fourth place.

The team also competed in the arm wrestling competition, which is a test of one person’s arm strength against another (either their right or left arm). Opponents are categorized according to their weight. The Aramco team were victorious and took home five medals in arm wrestling. Abdulrahman S. Khurayji attained the coveted first place and was awarded the gold medal. At the same time, Hamdan A. Husaeni, Ahmad A. Nasser, Abdulaziz F. Almulhim, and Abdul R. Barkawi all took home bronze medals for third place in their respective weight categories.

On the third day, the TFA challenge commenced at Lisnave Shipyard, Lisbon. The TFA is a tough four-stage challenge wherein the firefighter must complete each stage within five minutes, competing with firefighters from other countries. Although they were not awarded any medals in this extreme test of endurance, the Aramco team gained respect from the other competitors for their camaraderie and support of other firefighters, not just in the TFA, but in the games in general. “The team’s cardiovascular, muscular strength, and endurance performances were evident to all competitors and spectators who witnessed the Aramco firefighters compete in all 10 events,” said Andrew J. Birch, the FrPD Health & Wellness Group leader. “It was apparent that the strength of the team was each individual member. The power of each member was the team. This success will filter throughout the department and will further enhance the importance of health and wellness to all firefighters.” 

In the football matches, the team competed in three (7 × 7) matches. They played their first match against the French “A Team” and beat them 4-0. In the second match, they played against the host nation Portugal, and were beaten 4-0. Their final match was against France’s “B Team,” and they lost 2-1. The team was awarded bronze medals. The following day, eight of the WFG2022 team competed in the 100-meter sprints and four competed in the 4 × 100 meter relay race. The team took home the bronze medal in the 18-29 age group category for the 4 × 100 meter with a time of 52.49 seconds.

On May 6, Alsanawi competed in the 5 km Road Race and secured a bronze medal (third place) with a time of 52.49 seconds. On the same day, four members of the team competed in the 4 × 400-meter Relay. The team took home the silver medal for second place with a time of 4 minutes 7 seconds. 

“Our FrPD team, consisting of 10 employees, has represented our beloved company and country as real ambassadors in terms of their ethics, fitness, techniques, and sportsmanship,” said the appointed leaders for the team, Hamed Al Rashed and Abdulnaser Al Tamimi. “They earned a total of 11 medals even though they were not as prepared as the rest of the teams due to the time of the games — at the end of Ramadan with changing diet systems and sleeping hours.”

List of Medal Winners in WFG2022:

1. Sporting Discipline: Arm Wrestling

Weight Category: 70-79 kg
Saudi Aramco WFG2022 Team: Abdulrahman S. Khurayji
Hand: Left Hand
WFG2022 Ranking: 1st Place – Gold

2. Sporting Discipline: Arm Wrestling

Weight Category: 70-79 kg
Saudi Aramco WFG2022 Team: Abdul R. Barkawi
Hand: Left Hand
WFG2022 Ranking: Joint 3rd Place – Bronze

3. Sporting Discipline: Arm Wrestling

Weight Category: 70-79 kg
Saudi Aramco WFG2022 Team: Ahmad A. Nasser
Hand: Left Hand
WFG2022 Ranking: Joint 3rd Place – Bronze

4. Sporting Discipline: Arm Wrestling

Weight Category: 70-79 kg
Saudi Aramco WFG2022 Team: Abdulaziz F. Almulhim
Hand: Right Hand
WFG2022 Ranking: 3rd Place – Bronze

5. Sporting Discipline: Arm Wrestling

Weight Category: 60-69 kg
Saudi Aramco WFG2022 Team: Hamdan A. Husaeni
Hand: Right Hand
WFG2022 Ranking: 3rd Place – Bronze

6. Sporting Discipline: Stair Run

Age Category: 18-29
Saudi Aramco WFG2022 Team: Fahad O. Aljaafri
Time: 0:01:18.66
WFG2022 Ranking: 2nd Place – Silver

7. Sporting Discipline: Stair Run

Age Category: 18-29
Saudi Aramco WFG2022 Team: Ali H. Alsanawi
Time: 0:01:21.77
WFG2022 Ranking: 3rd Place – Bronze

8. Sporting Discipline: Football (7 × 7)

Saudi Aramco WFG2022 Team: Saudi Aramco Team
WFG2022 Ranking: 3rd Place – Bronze

9. Sporting Discipline: 4 × 100 m Relay

Age Category: 18-29
Saudi Aramco WFG2022 Team: Saudi Aramco Team
Time: 52.49 (sec)
WFG2022 Ranking: 3rd Place – Bronze

10. Sporting Discipline: 5 km

Age Category: 18-29
Saudi Aramco WFG2022 Team: Ali H. Alsanawi
Time: 20 min/27 sec
WFG2022 Ranking: 3rd Place – Bronze

11. Sporting Discipline: 4 × 400 m Relay

Saudi Aramco WFG2022 Team: Saudi Aramco Team
Time: 4 min/7 sec
WFG2022 Ranking: 2nd Place – Silver

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