Dubai, 21 March 2018: Emirati sharpshooters exhibited their skills in Saktoun rifle and brought home top prizes at the Fazza Championship for Shooting (for Nationals), organised by the Hamdan bin Mohammed Heritage Centre (HHC), on Wednesday at the Hamdan Bin Mohammed Shooting Range in Ruwayyah, Dubai.
Around 1,250 Emiratis of all ages from across the country competed in the three-day heritage sport that started on Monday. The level of competition reached its peak on Wednesday, when finalists in six categories (Men’s, Women’s, Elderly, U17 Boys, U17 Girls and plate shooting men’s double) fought for podium finish and big prizes.
Retired Major General Rashed Khamis bin Abiar Al Hamli, Chairman of the UAE Shooting and Archery Federation; Maj Gen Mohammed Saeed Al Marri, Assistant Commander-in-Chief of Community Happiness and Equipment at Dubai Police; HE Abdullah Hamdan Bin Dalmook, CEO of HHC, Brig Gen Mohammad Obeid Al Muhairi, Chairman of the Fazza Shooting Committe witnessed the championship. Also in attendance were Ms. Suad Ibrahim Darwish, Director of Championships at HHC, Mohammed Abdullah, Director of Corporate Support at HHC and a number of officials.
Precision, patience and being calm under pressure helped Saqr Mohammed Al Damani clinch first place in the Men’s division. He was followed by Saeed Al Aryani who came in second and Salem Al Deri in third place.
Azza Khamis Al Deri again showed her shooting skills by bagging first place in the Women’s division after getting 74 points out of 80. Earlier, she dominated the 18th Fazza Open Championship for Shooting by edging Omani women in a tough final on March 17. Sixty-three-year-old Sheikha Al Kutbi scored 73 points and came at second place and followed by Hanadi Al-Naqbi in third position.
In the seniors’ category, elderly, the first place was Salem Dahmani finished in first place, followed by Yasser Al Deri and Sultan Al Kutbi in second and third places respectively.
In the Boys U17, Saeed Mohammed Al Ketbi was the champion Khalifa Al Deri came second and Hussein Al Ahbabi finished third.
In the Girls U17, Rawdha Al-Deri finished first, followed by Fatima Mohammed Hayden Al Ketbi and Fatima Juma Al Ahbabi in second and third respectively
In the men’s double shooting of plates, the Emirati duo of Rashed Abdullah Al Kaabi and Mohammed Hilal Al Kaabi dominated with first place finish, followed by Saif Saeed Al Kaabi and Ali Saeed Al Kaabi in second and in third place were Khalid Mohammed Al-Qaidi and Mohammed Salem Al-Qaidi.
Pride of the nation
Retired Maj Gen Rashed Khamis bin Abir Al Hamli, Chairman of the Shooting and Archery Federation, expressed his pride in seeing the sons and daughters of the homeland as they showed their sportmanship and marksmanship.
“I witnessed the progress of this tournament from the opening until the closing. The individuals and teams that participated in the tournament showed great levels of sportsmanship and skills in shooting,” he said.
Maj Gen Mohammed Saeed Al Marri, Assistant Commander-in-Chief of Community Happiness and Equipment at Dubai Police, for his part added: “This shooting competition is of great importance to our Emirati youth as this tournament is great opportunity to find participants in our Olympic pool. The high level of competition also gives them huge experience when they go to international levels of shooting competition.”
“Every year, the number of participants is increasing and every year, the competition gets tougher and better,” he added.
Shooting for the future
Ms. Suad Ibrahim Darwish, Director of Championships at HHC said the huge number of participants – numbering to 1,250 this year, heralds a bright future for the UAE and the heritage sport is increasing its popularity among the young generation.
Strong family bonding
The tournament was also characterized by strong bonding, with participants bringing in members of their family during the three-day competition.
The skills are also passed on from one generation to the next like Sheikha Al Ketbi, who finished second in the women’s category, her son Saeed Al Ketbi grabbed first in the U17 boys category and Fatima al-Ketbi finished second in the U17 girls category.
“I and my husband encouraged our children to learn, train and participate in Saktoun competition,” said Sheikha, who at 63, still has steady hands and sharp eyes to hit the target..
Mother’s Day Gift
The event coincided with the celebration of Mother’s Day, which inspired Azza Khamis, who won first place in the women’s category, to present her prize to her mother who taught her rifle shooting.
Honoring the best shooters
HE Abdullah Hamdan Bin Dalmouk, CEO of HHC, and Maj Gen Mohammed Saeed Al Marri led the honoring of the winners who were given commemorative trophies by the Center.
The official sponsors of Hamdan Bin Mohammed Heritage Center are: Al Tayer Motors Land Rover, Dubai Airports, Dubai World Trade Centre, AW Rostamani (Arabian Automobiles), Global Village and Al Oula radio station.
Saktoun Rife is a traditional weapon renowned for its accuracy and used in the past by tribesmen for fishing and hunting, as well as during war.