Fatima Hilal Al Kaabi (centre) celebrates on the podium after receiving the award from Abdullah Hamdan Bin Dalmook, CEO of HHC.
Amir Naqvi, Sports Editor
Giving wings to the dreams of many and preserving national heritage, the Fazza Shooting Championship has proven to be the perfect platform for empowering the Emirati women in sports.
Over the past two decades, shooting events for UAE nationals have been providing opportunities to participants to take their game to the next level.
Participating in the championship has given them the confidence to work harder on improving their skills and compete at a higher level, and many have gone on to prove their mettle in domestic and regional competitions.
Fatima Hilal Al Kaabi, Afra Khalifa Al Badi, Amna Banihashem are among the few who have carved a niche for themselves. Competing consistently since 2012, Fatima has won many title and competed in many top-level events across Abu Dhabi, Al Ain and other parts of the UAE.
Hitting the bull’s eye, Fatima once again topped women’s category of the Fazza Shooting Championship (Saktoun Rifle) organised by the Hamdan Bin Mohammed Heritage Centre (HHC) in Al Ruwayyah, Dubai on Tuesday.
Fatima, who works at the Abu Dhabi Police General Command, showed her composure and achieved the highest score in the UAE Nationals category with 79 points.
There was a neck-to-neck battle between her and Fakhera Abdullah Al Deri. However, in the end, Fatima managed to pip her closest rival with single point as Fakhera finished with 78 points to take runners-up spot. Aisha Saif Al Deri came in third place with 76 points.
Speaking to Gulf Today, the Abu Dhabi cop said: “I have been taking part in this championship for the past couple of years. Now shooting is my passion, especially with Saktoun.
“This championship has helped me in honing my skills and gave me the platform to compete in different shooting across the UAE, Fatima added.
“All thanks to Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, for giving priority to such event. I am inspired by Sheikh Hamdan and he is one of the major sources of inspiration for me.
“The championship is organised by Hamdan Heritage Centre helps people like us to pursue our dreams and hone our skills,” she signed off.
Aisha said: “I started Saktoun shooting as a hobby in 2019 but over the years and by participating in different events, I have harnessed my skills and I am thankful for a wonderful finish in this year’s competition.
“I am from Al Ain and I thank my brothers who have been helping and supporting me in this wonderful heritage sport.”
In the Juniors category, Amna Bin Shahdoor scored 76 points to clinch first place. Najla Saeed Al Ahbabi took second spot with 70 points while Fatima Khaled Al Menhali finished third with the same score but made more attempts to find the right target.
Abdullah Hamdan Bin Dalmook, CEO of HHC gave away the prizes to the winners in the presence of Brigadier General 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.
Muhairi said it was heartening to see more women displaying their interest in Saktoun rifle shooting.
“The championship aims to identify promising young talents in order to groom them to become future champions in shooting and enable their participation in regional and international championships, including the Olympics,” he added.
Muhairi announced the committee decided to honour and allocate financial rewards to all the top 20 winners in the women’s competition. He noted that the number of participants this year has been very encouraging and they have shown their determination to improve their skills.
Following the final of UAE Nationals category, the Fazza Shooting Championship will now hosts Plate Shooting-Open Championship final on Saturday while women’s open category final take place on Tuesday. The men’s final is scheduled for Wednesday.
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