Awad Al-Amiri 02-1646815044811
Awad Al-Amiri with the winner's trophy. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Awad Al-Amiri kept his composure and posted a come-from-behind victory to lift this year’s Fazza Gold Cup and bring home the grand prize of Dh1 million at the 22nd Fazza Championship for Youlah and 17th edition of Al Meydan Programme, organised by Hamdan Bin Mohammed Heritage Center (HHC) in Dubai.

Al-Amiri’s victory over Fayadh Al Ameri came only in the final minute. Awad and Fayadh, both from Al Ain, fought toe-to-toe, displaying their skills in various heritage sports. Fayadh first dominated the swimming competition held early in the week at the Hamdan bin Mohammed Sports Complex, where he obtained ten points. Fayadh also won the Saktoun rifle shooting and added 15 more makers to wind up with 45 points, after racking up 20 points in the camel race.

However, Awad kept his composure on the final night and came up with a strong performance in the main Youlah competition to get a huge 25 points and another 10 points for his mastery in the Arabic poetry recitation. After adding the 20 points in the horse race, Awad ended up with 55 points, enough for him to bag the title and be hailed as the Meydan Grand Knight.

Awad received the Fazza Gold Cup from Abdullah Hamdan Bin Dalmook, CEO of HHC, and Rashid Al Khasouni, HHC Director of Championships.

What is Youlah?

Youlah is a heritage sport that involves spinning and throwing a replica rifle made of wood and metal plating. It is an integral part of the Emirati culture with its origins rooted in the army as a celebratory jig that was done with real weapons in the past. Participants at the competition, called ‘Yuweel’, fling the rifle as high as possible before catching it. They are then judged based on their footwork and overall fluidity of performance.

To make the competition more exciting, HHC added several competitions, promoting the UAE’s intangible cultural heritage, including traditional Saktoun rifle shooting, horse and camel riding, as well as swimming and recitation of traditional Arabic poetry.

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Bin Dalmook congratulated Awad and also expressed his appreciation for all the efforts of the participants. He noted: “Winning the Gold Cup requires diligence and keeping pace with the high level of competitions. This season has not been easy, given the high level of competitions and challenges involved in all the events.”

Bin Dalmook also announced registration is now open for the next edition of the tournament.