DUBAI, 12th March 2017: The largest Open Fazza Championship for Shooting – Saktoun Rifle organized and supervised by the Hamdan bin Mohammed Heritage Centre (HHC) which attracted more than 1,100 men and women participants of all age groups from within and outside the UAE successfully concluded on Saturday 11th March at the Dubai Police Square in Ruwayyah area in Dubai.
In attendance during the events on the final day and the awarding ceremony that followed were HE Abdullah Hamdan Bin Dalmook, CEO of HHC; HE Salem Al Kathiri, Acting head of the Sultanate of Oman Consular Office in Dubai; Brigadier-General Mohammed Obaid Al Muhairi, Head of the Organizing Committee of the tournament; Mr. Rashid Bin Mirkhan, Deputy CEO of HHC; Ms. Suad Ibrahim Darwish, Director of Championships at HHC; Mr. Mohammed Abdullah bin Dalmook, Director of Corporate Support at HHC; and officials and members of the organizing committee.
After a hectic schedule of events that produced a high standard of competition in the final round of the championship, the overall results displayed a clear superiority of shooters from Oman who triumphed in all the categories.
In the Men’s Open category, Omanis swept the boards with Asad Al Ma’amari grabbing first place with a score of 79 out of 80. Mohammed Al Wahaibi came second scoring a total of 78 points ahead of compatriot Mohammed Al Ma’shani.
Omanis also dominated the podium In the Women’s Open category with Naeema bint Hameed bin Saeed Muqbaliyah emerging as the undisputed champion firing a score of 78 points. After a tie for second place with 77 points, Afra bint Khamis bin Mohammed Al Muqbaliyah was adjudged the winner over Aysha bint Musbaah bin Saeed Al Ka’abi after firing four bulls eye shots (x), one more than her rival.
Emirati Fatma Al Kaabi was placed sixth after four shooters were tied with scores of 74, including Afra Al Badi who had the best qualifying score of 79 but slipped up in the final.
In the Junior Men’s final, Oman’s Mohammed al Muqbaliy was adjudged the winner over compatriot Saeed Al Kathiri after both were tied at 78 points each. Emirati Mohammed Al Ketbi got on the podium taking third place with 77 points.
Omanis once again won the top three positions in the Junior Women’s event with Maitha Al Muqbaliy winning with a total of 77 points. Aysha Rashid Al Ka’abi edged out her sister Moza Rashid after both were tied on 73 points.
In the ‘Plates’ team competition, a category that was the most exciting and thrilling because it tested speed as well as accuracy with two-man teams having to run 20 meters to their two already set-up rifles, load them and then hit five metallic plates 50 meters away on the range, the duo of Auf bin Khaseeb Al Awfi and Yunus Siyabi emerged as the champions. The pairing of Khamis Ahmed Al Darie and Noman Saif Al Darie took second place while Hamid Saeed Dari and Salem Nabhan Al Nabhani claimed third position.
Ms. Suad Ibrahim Darwish, Director of Championships at HHC, said everyone who took part in this championship was a winner because it produced a high standard of competition.
“The increase in standards was reflected in the high scores in the individual categories and the fractional difference in timings in the team events. There is a keen following for Fazza Championship for Shooting – Saktoun Rifle for which we are eternally grateful to the support extended by the Crown Prince of Dubai to preserve our national identity by preserving and promoting traditional sports,” she said.
Ms. Suad Ibrahim Darwish said that even international championships in shooting would not have seen the record number of over 1,100 entries this season’s tournament has attracted.
“It is an achievement that HHC is proud of as we strive to develop the level of organizing each year with the introduction of smart technology which has facilitated easy registration and contributed to the excitement of the competition in all categories,” she said.
Brigadier Mohammed Obaid Al Muhairi, head of the tournament organizing committee, said among the many benefits of the championship was it helped to promote a popular traditional sport and provided a meeting place for citizens in the region to practice the sport in a competitive environment.
“It is a great pleasure to see such large numbers participating with their families from regional countries especially Oman and compete for top spots. It has no doubt contributed to increasing the level of the sport in general and encourage youngsters to take it up with the allocation of a category for juniors,” he said.
One of the youngest winners was 13-year-old Maitha Muqbaliy, who was overwhelmed after her triumph in the Junior Women’s final displaying nerves of steel.
“I did not expect to win. You need calm nerves, concentration and patience. I kept training these and results reaped by me were outstanding. So I would recommend young girls to take up shooting because they can learn patience, courage and self-confidence,” said Maitha who is an artist and poet apart from being a shooter since the age of eight.
Women’s Open champion Naima Muqbaliyah who has been competing in the Fazza Championship for Shooting – Saktoun Rifle for the past five years, expressed her gratitude to the Almighty and her family for her continued success.
“This the first time to come in the first rank in this tournament. I thank God, my family, relatives and uncle, who spared no efforts in training me. I trained for four months for this tournament and the hard work has paid dividends. I dedicate this win to my uncle and family,” she said.
Omani Asad Al Ma’amari was the happiest winner after exceeding all expectations to win the Men’s Open final on his debut in the Fazza Championship for Shooting – Saktoun Rifle.
“I practiced Al Saktoun shooting for a long time but did not enter this tournament earlier. I fired what I have been doing in practice to obtain first place,” said Asad.
“I focused on the repeating the result I achieved during qualifying without taking notice of the results of my rivals. When the final result was announced, I felt very happy and was overjoyed,” said Asad who rarely displayed emotion in the shooting range as he quietly kept firing at the targets from the lane 26 on the far left side of the field.
Long years of friendship
‘Plates’ Team winners Awfi and Younis Siyabi said the many years of friendship united by kinship, living in the same area and growing up together added to the similar passion for the sport of shooting had helped in their triumph.
“We started to participate together as a team in this competition three years ago and have been an annual presence in this tournament. We did not win in previous years but things went positively for us this time,” said Awfi.
Siyabi explained that they achieved results because of hard work and training.
“We trained intensively during the past month and days before the tournament by being present for training before the qualifying day. This has contributed to us being on the podium and brought us double happiness,” he said.
Junior Men’s champion Oman’s Mohammed Muqbaly speaking after his triumph said: “I’m 16 years old, but began practicing this sport since I was eight years old. I watched my family members who were good marksmen in the shooting ranges and encouraged by my elder brothers to practice it. Thereafter I began training to gain experience whenever I had the opportunity to do so after attending school.”
This victory has given him confidence to even compete in the Men’s Open category.
“I wish I could return in the future and one day become a champion in the Men’s Open category in this tournament. My ambitions has no limits after this victory, which makes me happy,” he said.
The second day of the Fazza Championship for Shooting – Saktoun Rifle – for Locals will be held on Monday 13th March with the finals taking place on Wednesday 15th March.
Al Saktoun Rifle
Al 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.
The official sponsors of the Hamdan Bin Mohammed Center are Al Tayer Motors, Land Rover, Dubai Airports, AW Rostamani (Arabian Automobiles), Global Village and Al Oula Radio.