DUBAI, 21st January 2017: The 17th edition of the Fazza Championship for Youllah reached fever pitch as the second round of the Finals produced another perfect score of 50 during the seventh episode of the event in Al Meydan quadrant at Global Village on Friday 20th January, as three more contestants continued their quest for the coveted title.
Organized and supervised by the Hamdan Bin Mohammed Heritage Center (HHC) to revive heritage sports, the 18 finalists are vying for the grand prize of AED 1 million and the Fazza Youllah Championship trophy over 13 rounds of the competition every Friday at 9 pm.
At the outset, it was announced that Omani Muhammad Abdullah Al Wahaibi (number 6) became the sixth finalist to qualify for the second round of competition. He is the first and only non-Emirati finalist to reach the second round, progressing over second-placed Mabkhoot Salim Hamad Al Ameri and third-placed Mohammed Abdullah Hamdan bin Dalmook.
Ms. Suad Ibrahim Darwish, Director of Championships at HHC, expressed appreciation at the level of improvement in each episode as the contestants vie for the trophy.
“The changes in the format of the competition has added to the suspense of selecting the qualifiers after each round. The contestants take advantage of the experience of the members of the jury who oversee their training on Youllah movements on the ground and hitting the bell. This is evident in the scores achieved with very little to choose between those who have qualified for the second round,” she said.
Abdul Rahman Mohammed (number 14) became the second finalist to achieve the perfect score of 50 after giving a brilliant performance to herald the second round of the finals.
Saeed Mohammed bin Musleh Al Ahbabi (number 7) was the first finalist to attain the dream score of 50 during the fifth episode of Fazza Championship for Youllah.
Abdul Rahman gave a calm and composed performance displaying mastery of the Youllah weapon and hardly put a foot wrong during his act. He also appeared to calculate his throws to perfection, hitting the bell at the 17-metre twice before becoming the only contestant on the night to ring the bell at the 20-metre in his third and final throw to earn the perfect score of 50.
Hamdan Mohammed bin Musleh Al Ahbabi (number 3) strode around the stage with an air of confidence and was more intent on hitting the bell. He threw the Youllah weapon in the air no less than five times in quick succession, hitting the bell at the 17-metre mark on each occasion. However, his failure to catch the instrument which fell to the ground during his first throw resulted in a point being deducted and having to settle for 49 points despite an awe-inspiring performance.
Matar Ali Ahmad Rashed Al Habsi (number 1) also gave a superlative performance to catch the eyes of the judges who awarded him 49 points. He succeeded in ringing the bell at the 17-metre mark in two out three attempts and was also adept with the Youllah weapon to thrill the crowds with his skills.
The Championship organizers HHC have amended the format of competition this year adding a hint of international television programmes. The 18 finalists have been divided into three groups of six each. Each group will come under the eyes of an expert member of the jury as his mentor. The merits of each Yuweel (Yuollah performer) will be assessed and his performances fine-tuned to unearth his talents and if he gains the votes from the two juries (excluding his mentor). As the Yuweel qualifies at the various stages of the competition, the final rounds will involve the public as they get to choose through voting. Upon the number of votes the four winners will be announced accordingly in the grand finale.
The tournament organizers announced that voting for the finalists should be according to their numbers as follows: Matar Ali Ahmad Rashed Al Habsi (number 1) Saif Suhail Saif Asamahi (number 2) Hamdan Mohammed bin Musleh Al Ahbabi (number 3) Abdullah Ali Saadan Shehhi (number 4) Humaid Obaid Hassan bin Rakkad (number 5) Muhammad Abdullah bin Sabih Wahaibi (number 6) Saeed Mohammed bin Musleh Al Ahbabi (number 7) Mabkhoot Salim Hamad Al Ameri (number 8) Hamad Al Thani Obaid Edidh Falasi (number 9) Issa Khamis Bilal (number 10) Muhammad Ali Saif Sowaidan Qayedi (number 11) Issa Salman Mohammed Salman (number 12) Ahmed Abdullah Aharsusa (number 13) Abdul Rahman Mohammed (number 14) Mohammed Abdullah Hamdan bin Dalmook (number 15) Ahmed Mohammed Saeed Al Habsi (number 16) Saeed Obaid Saeed Al Wahaibi (number 17) Abdul Salam Abdul Razzaq Abtan (number 18)
Voting via text messages could be done as follows: Saudi Arabia (Mobily 636,666, Zain 742 151), Bahrain (Zain 94,549, FIFA 98 027, Batelco 94,121), Qatar (Oorado 92 045), the UAE (dU 4401, etisalat 4401), Kuwait (Zain 96,911, Oorado 1741), Oman (Oorado 91,829, Oman Thiel 91 192), Iraq (Asia-Cell in 2415, Couric 2598, Zain in 2669, Yemen (MTN 2602, Sabafon 4557, Wi-7140) Yemen (Mobile 88 366) and the rest of the world call (008821626774199).
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.
‘Youllah’ is a well-established folk art over the years where an iconic rifle is spun around to the rhythmic beat of Arabic music. One of the heritage traditions performed by the young and the not so elderly during ceremonies, Youllah as a sport began with real weapons in the past and then evolved into a weapon used with a hollow inside and free of ammunition. Now it has become even more lighter enabling participants to display greater agility and more skills in a dance form.