Former Arab fencing champion Amer Al Natour of Jordan took the men's open, while Hala Belselah of the UAE clinched the women's crown in the inaugural Dubai Fencing Club Fencing Championships held at The Quay Health Club at Mina A'Salam Hotel yesterday.

Hala Belselah (left) on the offensive during her final round against Mariam in the open category fencing competition yesterday. ©Gulf News
Al Natour, who won the Arab title in 1999, secured a convincing 15-10 win against Qais Al Rawi in the final.

Both fencers are affiliated to the Metropolitan Hotel-based Dubai International Fencing Club (DIFC).

Ebrahim Belselah, director of DFC, gave away the medals and trophies to the winners in the presence of Dr Ahmad Sa'ad Al Sharif.

"He's a good fencer and fully deserved this win," said Al Rawi.

Participating in his first competition in the UAE, Al Natour always kept the edge against his experienced opponent.

But fatigue set in and Al Rawi made some mistakes in his defence, allowing the former Arab champion to lunge forward for some fine touches.

By the end of the second period, Al Natour was comfortably ahead 13-10. A deft touch from the side put him a point away from victory.

Al Rawi tried to be more attacking in his approach in an attempt to gain some valuable points. But Al Natour side-stepped a desparate lunge from his opponent and chipped his chest to secure the win.

"It's nice to see so many UAE nationals involved in a sport line fencing," Al Natour commented.

Earlier in the morning, Hala Belselah clinched the women's crown ahead of Miriam Hassan, Najla Al Midfa and Nanette Fairley.

Belselah was also placed second in the UAE women's category, while Al Midfa took the gold.

In the UAE Junior Boy's final, the lanky Abdul Aziz Al Rumaithi got past Abdul Aziz Al Hammadi 15-8. Both students are being trained by Mohammad Sa'ad of the Emirates Heritage Club.

"This competition is very important for fencing as it has managed to bring together all like-minded individuals together on one platform," noted Mihail Kouzev, the organiser of the competition.

"We are planning to have more of these events."