Winners of the Fazza Championship for Shooting Saktoun Rifle category pose for picture with Abdullah Hamdan Bin Dalmook and other dignitaries after the presentation ceremony.
Gulf Today, Staff Reporter
A total 48 shooters representing 24 teams competed in the qualifiers and final of the Plate Shooting for UAE Nationals at the Fazza Championship for Shooting Saktoun Rifle category, organised by the Hamdan Bin Mohammed Heritage Centre (HHC), over the weekend at Fazza Shooting Range in Al Ruwayyah in Dubai.
Saktoun rifle shooting is more than a sport, but an important part of Emirati heritage that the HHC has been promoting to strengthen national identity of the UAE.
Participants competed using Saktoun, a long rifle traditionally used in the past for hunting.
Fazza Heritage Championships, held under the direct patronage of Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, and bring together thousands of professionals and amateurs from different cultures to compete in various traditional sporting disciplines.
The category Plate Shooting for UAE Nationals saw the duo of Khalid Bin Ayesh and Ayesh Bin Ayesh winning first place; while Muhammad Al Kaabi and Hamid Khasif came in second spot; and Saeed Shakhbout and Saqr Fahm finished third.
The winners were crowned by Abdullah Hamdan Bin Dalmook, CEO of HHC, Brigadier Mohammed Obaid Al Muhairi, Head of the Fazza Shooting Committee- Saktoun, and Lieutenant Colonel Khalifa Obaid Al Suwaidi, deputy in charge of the organising committee.
Plate Shooting is one of the five categories of the Saktoun Championship. Women’s and Men’s finals (UAE nationals Championship) will be held on March 2and 3 respectively.
On March 6 Plate Shooting-Open Championship will be held which will be followed by Women’s finals-Open Championship on March 9 while March 10 will witness Men’s finals-Open Championship.
Lieutenant-Colonel Suwaidi, praised the high-level sportsmanship shown by the competitors. He noted the development of sport contributes highly in preserving the rich Arab heritage and fostering the bond within families and communities.
“Saktoun is not just a sport, we are bringing families together and we are welcoming various cultures who enjoy the sport,” he underlined.
Suwaidi also noted preventive measures against COVID-19 were strictly observed. The competition has started early in December, with only 15 shooters per day during the qualifiers that lasted for about three months. The distance between competitors was also set at 4 to 5 metres.
First place winners Khalid and Ayesh, who came from Ras Al Khaimah, expressed their happiness with their achievement. This was the first time the duo won in the tournament.
Khalid said: “We formed our team only a week ago, as each of us used to participate individually in the competition, but this time we cooperated together in the Plate Shooting, and we did continuous training. Focus is the key to our success.” Meanwhile, Muhammad Obaid Al Kaabi, who achieved second place with his cousin Hamid Khasif, expressed his satisfaction reaching the podium even if achieving the second place.
“This was our second participation, we did not succeed in winning a place last time, but this time we managed to reach the final and won second place. We thank the organisers of the tournament for creating a healthy competition despite the threat of the pandemic,” he said.
These championships enjoy wide popularity, attracting participants not only from the UAE, but from across the Arab region and beyond. The Fazza Heritage Championships are looked upon as a vibrant example of the ability of heritage to serve as a meeting ground for contemporary civilizations.
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