Dubai, January 21, 2016 – The Fazza Championship for Saktoun Rifle Shooting got off to a sensational start on Wednesday with the first competitor in the initial batch of 30 shooting a perfect score (80).
Such sterling shooting continued on throughout yesterday (Wednesday) and last year’s prior marker of two 80s was soon surpassed by mid-morning at the competition organised and supervised by the Hamdan Bin Mohammed Heritage Center (HHC).
Those fantastic feats left the organisers of this four-day tournament in no doubt that the marksmenship here astride Dubai’s Emirates Road will reach even greater heights ahead of the finals on Saturday.
Souad Ibrahim Darwish, Director of Championships at the Hamdan bin Mohammed Heritage Center (HHC), said: “We are pleased to have more than 2,500 contestants, who rushed to register on day one of the tournament. What also exceeded our expectations is the increased number of female participants from the UAE and the GCC region and they are all eager to compete. We’re expecting a very competitive tournament, which is being supported by a very high level of administration and the latest, state-of-the-art technology to help evaluate the results.”
Mohammed Obaid Al Muhairi, the Head of the Organising Committee of the Fazza Championship for Saktoun Rifle Shooting, commented: “It is the very first time that the number one shooter should get the complete score. We had two shooters score 80 in 2015, but we have already exceeded that this time around and that is very good. We have already broken new ground. It is not easy to get full marks because the 10-point cross is very small from 50 metres. We already have too many scores of 78 and 79 and that means that 78 may be the cut-off point for the 25 finalists in the men’s competition. A competitor may only let two points slip, but that could well be enough to see him eliminated from the tournament. That highly impressive scoring is indicative of a very strong competition overall.”
There were many Omani nationals in attendance for the men’s and veterans’ contests yesterday (Wednesday), with more than 600 participants having crossed over the border to compete for honours here.
One such entrant, 22-year-old Fahad Al Farsi, who finished as the runner-up in the 2014 edition, stated: “I competed in the third group and I scored 78. I want to get through to the final and – God willing – that will happen, but it is a high standard being set here. I’ve liked shooting all of my life. I’ve set myself some goals that I’d like to achieve and one of them is to finish first at this Fazza Championship (for Saktoun Rifle Shooting). This is a very big deal as this is one of the biggest championships in the Arabian Gulf.”
Al Farsi’s compatriot, Saeed bin Rashid Mubarak Al Qalbani, 28, shared similar sentiments, adding: “This is the second time I’ve competed at this tournament and I’m very happy to be here communicating with other people and sharing this experience and information with them in Dubai. This is a world-class competition and it’s important, so – when you receive some helpful information – you will follow it in order to be better than everyone else and win.”
The action at the Fazza Championship for Saktoun Rifle Shooting continues today (Thursday), when the U17 boys will compete alongside the men and the male veterans.
There shall be a clay pigeon contest for teams tomorrow (Friday) and girls, juniors and women will kick off the finals day on Saturday morning before the best men (25), best women (20) and best U17 boys (20) take to the range in the afternoon.