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Winners of the fencing competition in the NAS Tournament with the officials at the Nad Al Sheba Sports Complex. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Emirati athletes claimed four medals, including a gold, two silver and a bronze, as the thrilling Fencing Championship came to a close at the 10th NAS Sports Tournament in Dubai on Wednesday.

Held under the theme ‘Limitless Abilities’ and organised by the Dubai Sports Council (DSC), the NAS Sports Tournament is the biggest event of its kind in terms of participation and prize money, and has been held every year in the Holy Month of Ramadan since 2013 at the iconic Nad Al Sheba Sports Complex.

The tournament carries a total prize purse of Dhs4 million. Dhs3 million will be disbursed among the winners of eight sports events at NAS, including volleyball, padel tennis, Jiu-Jitsu, archery, fencing, wheelchair basketball, running and cycling. Dhs1 million worth of prizes will be distributed among the audience.

Closely contested event

Engineer Sheikh Salem Bin Sultan Al Qasimi, President of the Asian, Arab, and UAE Fencing Federation; Hassan Al Mazrouei, Director of the Nad Al Sheba Sports Tournament; Saleh Al Marzouqi, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the tournament; Dr. Huda Al Matrooshi, President of the UAE Modern Pentathlon Federation; and Marwan Ibrahim Haji Nasser, Chairman and Managing Director of Tadawi Healthcare Group, graced the presentation ceremony.

A total of 120 fencers, including male and female athletes from 14 countries, participated in one of the most closely contested championships in NAS Sports Tournament history.

Tunisia’s Mohamed Ayoub Al Ferjani won gold in the men’s foil competition, while the UAE’s Hamad Al Jallaf won silver and Egypt’s Abdul Rahman Haffour took the bronze.

Saudi Arabia’s Faisal Abed won the gold medal in the men’s epee category competition. Estonia’s Steh Brent bagged the silver and Jawad Al Daoud of Saudi Arabia won the bronze.

Source of pride

In the men’s sabre competition, Iran’s Mohammad Rahbari produced a perfect performance to win gold, while his compatriot Fotohi Veerabad came in second place. Emirati fencer Hamed Al Mazmi settled for bronze. UAE got another medal through Hayam Al Balooshi, who won the silver medal.

UAE’s Noura Al Briki won gold in the women’s sabre competition of the championship.

Engineer Sheikh Salem expressed his delight at fencing’s inclusion in the Nad Al Sheba Sports Tournament for the fourth time, noting that the 120 male and female competitors from 14 nations, who competed in the most recent edition, are a source of pride for the fencing federation and demonstrate the extent of the efforts being made to grow the sport and popularise it in the UAE.

Strong performance

He lauded the significant role the Nad Al Sheba Sports Tournment played in promoting fencing, particularly in terms of identifying talent and motivating young athletes to compete in this exciting sport.

“We are happy with the participation and strong performance shown by our players in various categories, which confirms their good preparation for the upcoming international events.”

The president of the UAE Fencing Federation praised the Nad Al Sheba Sports Tournament atmosphere and thanked Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council, for the tournament’s annual successes as well as the organising committee’s efficient planning and impressive attendance at all games, which honors UAE sports.

Exciting duels in padel

Engineer Sheikh Salem also revealed the signing of an agreement between the UAE Fencing and Modern Pentathlon Federations, in order to develop the sport of fencing and camps for players ahead of international events.

Meanwhile, the international gold category matches of the Padel Championship witnessed exciting duels in the round of 32.

Jose Roman and Carlos Perez struggled past Nicolas Siuscon and Ignacio Albornoz 7-5, 3-6, 6-4, while Francesco Miguel and Ramirez Navas fended off the challenge of Jerome Inzerillo and Alvaro Montiel 7-6, 3-6, 6-0.

UAE’s Omar Bahrozian and Abdullah Ahli suffered early exits. Francesco Gomez and Marco Casita brushed the Emirati pairing aside, 6-1, 6-2.

In other matches, Raul Marcos and Jose David Sanchez advanced after beating Mauro Augustin and Sergi Lorenzo 6-1, 6-2, and Miguel Angel Solps and Cristótubal Garcia reached the next round with a 7-6, 6-1 win over Marcos Escobar and Marco Blanco.