Dubai, 14 January 2023: Emirati teen Abdullah Belheli clinched the second ticket to the Golden Square of the 23rd Fazza Championship for Youlah and 18th edition of Al Meydan Program, following a down-to-wire quarter-final round on Friday in Al Marmoon, Dubai.
Both Belheli and his competitor, Ali Al-Ghafli, were initially tied at 40 points and the winner had to be decided by arbitration. After the second round, Belheli narrowly escaped with a hairline and was declared the winner with a total of 48 points as against Al-Ghhafli’s 47 markers.
It was the second consecutive tie in the quarter-final round of the tournament this year. In the previous week, Ahmed Al-Ketbi edged out fellow quarterfinalist, Saeed Obaid Al-Shamsi, with only one point and finished with 49 points, ahead of Al-Shamsi’s 48 markers.
Both Belheli and Al Ketbi have advanced to the semifinal or Golden Square round, inching closer to their goal of lifting the prestigious Fazza Cup and be declared as the Al Meydan Grand Knight.
Episode 6 last Friday night started with a stunning show of Youlah by Belheli and Al-Ghafli who regaled the audience with their footwork and mastery in throwing the replica rifle (youlah).
Both Belheli and Al-Ghalfi, however, did not score in the newly-introduced ‘What is in the picture’ portion.
In the swimming competition that was held earlier at Hamdan Sports Complex, Al-Ghafli won the 50-metre race and scored 10 points. He added 10 more markers in the Arabic poetry reading competition that was judged by poet Muhammad Al-Murr Al-Abd. The two participants recited a poem dedicated by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. Ali Al Ghafli also won the camel race and got 20 points.
Belheli, however, bounced back in the Saktoun shooting competition and earned 15 points. He also won the Youlah round with 25 points. He said: “Praise be to God, I was able to recover and return to the competition after losing the swimming and poetry reading competitions. It was a very strong competition that was not decided by arbitration in the Youlah. There is, however, no loser, so we are all brothers here. And we are all winners.”
Ali Al-Marzouqi was the guest of the sixth episode. He said: “I’m proud to be part of this popular heritage inspired by the UAE Founding Father Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan., and I feel proud of the young generation who continue to display and promote the heritage of our homeland.”
The second quarter-final was presented by Rashid Al Khasouni, HHC Director of Championships, and it broadcast live over Sama TV Dubai and Al-Oula Radio, as well as HHC social media channels.
Nathalie Awadissian, HHC Director of Radio Stations Department, Media and Communication, and Head of the Organising Committee for HHC Championships, noted the competition is now getting tougher as it goes closer to the final stage. She also encouraged the qualifiers to continue their training and maintain their strong focus in the competition.
The next quarter-final round will take place in Al Marmoon, on Friday, January 20, at 9pm.