Fujairah Open
Zayed Khalifa Al Suwaidi (from left), Brigadier Ahmad Hamdan Al Zyoudi and Nader Abu Shawish at a press conference ahead of Fujairah Open Taekwondo Championship and the Arab Championship. Image Credit:

Dubai: Fujairah is all set to host the biggest international Taekwondo championship — Fujairah Open — from January 31 to February 2.

The 8th edition of Fujairah Open has received more than 2000 entries including more than 1600 athletes from 43 countries. This included more than 400 UAE based Taekwondo players. The event became all the more important for international players after it was upgraded and ranked G-2 by the World Taekwondo headquartered in South Korea.

Also, Fujairah is also hosting the first Arab Taekwondo Championship in the region allowing athletes based in the Arab countries to compete. More than 600 Taekwondo players from Arab countries have registered for the event which is set to be held on Tuesday and Wednesday (January 28,29) at the Zayed Sports Complex in Fujairah.

Both the events are being held under the patronage of Sheikh Mohammad Bin Hammad Bin Mohammad Al Sharqi, Crown Prince of Fujairah. The events are being organised by the Fujairah Martial Arts Club under the supervision of the UAE Taekwondo Federation.

Top fighters to attend

President of the UAE Taekwondo Federation, Brigadier Ahmad Hamdan Al Zyoudi said that the record number of players registered for the events demonstrated the trust placed in the event by the world governing body. He also praised the World Taekwondo (WT) for upgrading the Fujairah Open ranking to G-2 championship, which attracts more top fighters with more ranking points up for grabs. He also thanked the Arab Taekwondo Federation for allowing Fujairah to host the Arab Championship.

Boost for UAE Taekwondo

Zayed Khalifa Al Suwaidi, vice president of the UAE Taekwondo Federation said the UAE players are fully ready to compete in both the events to secure places on the podium to get medals. He said the events would give further boost to Taekwondo which is fast spreading among Emirates and residents.

Nader Abu Shawish, the event manager, expressed his happiness on the number of participants and countries taking part. He said some countries including Brazil and Haiti are participating in the event for the first time.

Vital ranking points

Shawish said that the Fujairah Open will help players get vital qualifying points towards Olympic qualification rounds. That is why many of the world’s leading competitors are travelling to Fujairah to prepare for the Olympics Games, to be held Japan from July 24 to August 9.

It means that next week’s Fujairah championship provides the perfect timing for the sport’s top stars to make a strong statement ahead of the Olympic qualification play-offs.