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UAE teenager Faris Al Blooshi is eager to realise his dreams by booking a place in the Paris Olympics. Image Credit: A.K.S. Satish/Gulf News

Dubai: UAE teenager Faris Al Blooshi is ready to take a plunge into the deep in a bid to keep his dreams alive for a place in the Paris Olympic Games. The disciplined, dedicated and determined UAE No 1 fencer is now focusing on the qualifiers in April to seal a place in the Games.

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“The top goal for me is the Olympics. I want to become an Olympic champion and win the gold medal,” said the 16-year-old Sharjah resident. “It’s obviously a very hard route. And I’ll be fencing in the Olympic qualification tournament in Fujairah next month for the short chance to go to Paris Olympic Games.”

Love with fencing

Al Blooshi is a good student of the game and also his studies. The Fujairah Club fencer spares no effort to be critical of himself, after losing the senior men’s foil final against Egypt’s Abdel Rehman Haffour in the NAS Sports Tournament archery event at the NAS Sports Complex recently. The left-hander had advantage over his rival, but still couldn’t make it count in the final.

“It wasn’t really my day. I wasn’t fencing very well. Of course, I lost to a tougher opponent,” said the 11th grade student.

After starting at the age of 12, Al Blooshi feel in love with fencing and has been training hard since. He trains three times in Fujairah Club apart from training with the national team, four hours daily for six days a week. In between his busy schedule, Al Blooshi is also aiming to study Marine Biology.

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Faris Al Blooshi (facing) in action during the foil final against against Egypt’s Abdel Rehman Haffour in the NAS Sports Tournament archery. Image Credit: Supplied

“It started as an after-school activity, I just want to like check it out. I tried many sports while growing up like swimming, horse riding, but nothing really felt right for me. Once I tried fencing in school, I just felt like this is my sport,” he said. “Being a left-hander has an advantage in not only fencing, but in most sports, because your opponent usually is not used to the actions. So it gives you a really nice advantage, especially in the defensive and you can easily steal some touches when he’s not focused.”

Time management

Talking about his studies, Al Blooshi said nothing could hold a person back if he is disciplined on and off the fencing strip.

“It’s very tough, but it comes down to time management. If you wants to achieve something, you will be able to do it. Whenever I have a free time or any free lessons after school, I make sure to finish all my work at school. Once I am back home, I make sure to finish all my work before going to train,” he said with an air of confidence and conviction. “I’m hoping to study Marine Biology in college and, hopefully, go from there.”

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Faris Al Blooshi at the podium during the medal ceremony at NAS Sports Complex. Image Credit: Supplied

Gaining popularity

Fencing is gaining popularity in the UAE and the NAS Sports Tournament has helped in enhancing the status of the sport. A total of 127 champions from 14 countries took part in the event in Dubai.

Ali Al Marzouqi, the Executive Director of the UAE Fencing Federation, highlighted the great development the game has witnessed in the recent past, which in turn, has resulted in the expansion of the participant base since its inclusion as a sporting discipline at the NAS Sports Tournament.

Battle against the best

“The Nad Al Sheba Sports Tournament has become the forefront of the fencing federation’s local sporting events. The fencing federation is giving this sport greater attention so that our local fencers can have this opportunity to battle against some of the best from the world,” Al Marzouqi said in a statement.

The fencing competition at the NAS Sports Tournament acted as the apt preparation for the UAE youth team that is scheduled to participate in the FIE World Cup in Saudi Arabia immediately after Eid-Al-Fitr.