Dubai: A retired Emirati banker showcased his marksmanship to finish first at Fazza Championship for Shooting — Saktoun for UAE nationals (men’s category), while Nayef Saeed Al-Kathiri was crowned champion in the juniors’ category.
Organised by the Hamdan bin Mohammed Heritage Centre (HHC), the final round was held at Fazza Shooting Range in Al Ruwayyah. The men’s category saw the participation of 192 Emiratis who competed in the qualifiers that began in December last year, before concluding on March 3.
Muhammad Saeed Fahim, 55, a former banker, won the first place in the tightly-contested men’s category (UAE nationals) with a total score of 79 points out of 80 and four bulls-eyes. He was closely followed by Muhammad Saleh Al-Minhali, who earned 78 points, while Khalid Muhammad Al-Qaidi finished third with 77 markers.
Fahim, who lives in Ras Al Khaimah, used to work at the Central Bank of the UAE. He said of his triumph: “I love shooting, specifically Saktoun, which is a UAE heritage sport. I learned shooting from my forefathers and I have maintained it as a hobby. I participated in the HHC tournament since the first edition and I also achieved first place in the Open category in 2009.”
He added: “I will transfer my knowledge of this heritage sport to my children. My son, Saqr, earlier finished in the third place at the Plate Shooting Category for UAE nationals. We are always keen to compete whenever we have the opportunity.”
Lesson from grandfather
Meanwhile, Al-Kathiri, who defended his crown in the juniors’ category, said it was his grandfather who had taught and trained him in Saktoun. “My grandfather taught me valuable lessons and tips on how to excel,” noted Al-Kathiri, who had also finished in the first place in the last edition.
Al Kathiri scored 79 points with three bulls-eyes, followed by Ahmed Mahmoud Al-Deri and Hassan Hamdan Al-Mahrami, in second and third places, respectively, with identical 77 markers.
Enduring Emirati tradition
According to HHC, Saktoun rifle shooting is more than a sport. It is an important part of UAE heritage. Participants compete using Saktoun, a long rifle traditionally used for hunting.
The championship has evolved into an important heritage tournament with a wide appeal for its high level of competition.
Fazza Championship for Shooting — Saktoun will continue until March 10. Following is the itinerary:
March 6: Plate Shooting — Open Championship.
March 9: Women’s finals — Open Championship.
March 10: Men’s finals — Open Championship.