Winners celebrate on the podium during the presentation ceremony of the Fazza Championship for Shooting at Fazza Shooting Range in Al Ruwayyah.
It was a fitting thrilling end at the Fazza Championship for Shooting – Saktoun with the champion in the Men’s Open Category decided only until the last shot as Omani nationals Katheer Musallam Al Kathiri and Talal Saeed Al Badi had to go down to the wire to decide the winner.
Kathiri and Badi both finished the final round with an identical score of 79 points and 3X (bullseye). In the following knockout round, Kathiri showed his grit and determination to finish in first place while Badi settled for second. UAE national Ahmed Sultan Al Deri, meanwhile, also finished strong in third spot.
Emirati teens shine: In the Juniors category, Emirati teens dominated the first three places and made their country proud. Suhail Al Mahrami led the pack in first place with a score of 78 out of 80 points with 3X (bullseye), followed by Nayef Saeed Al Kathiri in second place with 77 points and 5X and Hamdan Saif Al Deri came third with 77 points and 2X.
Saktoun, which is a long rifle used in the past for hunting, is an important part of Emirati heritage. The Open Fazza Championship for Shooting – Saktoun was organised by the Hamdan Bin Mohammed Heritage Centre (HHC) on Wednesday at Fazza Shooting Range in Al Ruwayyah. The winners were awarded by Abdullah Hamdan Bin Dalmook, CEO of the HHC; and Brigadier Mohammed Obaid Al Muhairi, Head of the Fazza Shooting Committee- Saktoun.
Muhairi said this year’s edition was exceptional as around 1,000 competitors took part in the various categories and age groups of the two Fazza Championships for Shooting – Saktoun that took place over the course of 100 days from training to final rounds. Preventive measures against COVID-19 were also strictly observed. The competition started in December, with only limited groups with a maximum of 15 shooters per day during the qualifiers that lasted for about three months.
Victorious Omani: The victory of Kathiri, who is from the City of Salalah in Oman, came as no surprise to his supporters. Kathiri has been participating in the tournament since 2008. He said: “I had previously achieved many first places in this distinguished tournament. This year, I came to the UAE via air travel and that means I was not able to carry my own favourite Saktoun rifle.
“But the organising committee gave us enough time to train and I was able to focus on the competition and eventually emerged as a champion again.”
An incentive for the future: Mahrami, winner in the Juniors category, stressed that winning is an incentive for the future to continue along the path in this heritage sport. He added: “I have been participating in the various tournaments but the Fazza Championship has always been my favourite. My aim is to win in the Men’s category in the coming editions.”
About Hamdan Bin Mohammed Heritage Center: The Hamdan Bin Mohammed Heritage Center is the foremost resource and the most credible reference on the conservation and propagation of national heritage in the United Arab Emirates. Its vision focuses on deepening the sense of national identity among the younger generation of Emiratis and promoting Emirati culture, values and traditions at both a regional and international level.