Saturday,21 July, 2018
Current issue | Issue 1273, (3 - 9 December 2015)
Saturday,21 July, 2018
Issue 1273, (3 - 9 December 2015)

Ahram Weekly

Aiming at Rio

The 12th African Shooting Championship enters its fourth day of competition in Cairo, reports Inas Mazhar

Al-Ahram Weekly

This morning on 3 December the men will begin the day with the 25m rapid fire pistol stage 1 & 2 and the double trap. The finals will take place in the afternoon. Friday 4 December will be a women’s day competing in one event, the 10 m air pistol, then on to a pre-event training for the skeet.

On Saturday, both men and women will play in the 50m rifle 3 positions for men and the women’s skeet.

The one-week event concludes on Sunday with the finals of the 50m rifle 3 positions and women’s and men’s skeet.

This year’s African Shooting Championship is important to all participants since it is a qualifying tournament for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. As such, it is being held under the supervision of the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISF). According to the quota, Africa has 15 places.

Altogether 169 male and female athletes representing 14 countries are taking part in the 12th edition of the continental event: Algeria, Angola, Morocco, Tunisia, Libya, Sudan, Senegal, Kenya, Nigeria, Namibia, Uganda, South Africa, Zimbabwe and the host nation Egypt which is taking part with 50 male and female athletes.

African Championships (AFC) are conducted every two years (not in the year of World Championships or Olympic Games) in 10m/50m rifle, 10m/25m/50m pistol and trap, and double trap and skeet events for men and women, both individual and team competitions

The participants are currently competing in the rifle, pistol and shot gun.  The competition, which is expected to run until 7 December, is taking place in the Shooting Club at the Pyramids and the Shooting Club in 6th of October.

Competition started on Monday with the women’s 10m air rifle and the trap while men competed in the 50m pistol, the 10m air rifle and trap day 1. On Tuesday, the women contested the 25m pistol precision stage and the 25m pistol rapid fire stage while the men battled it out on trap day 2. Yesterday, the men competed in the 25m rapid fire pistol stage 1 & 2 and the double trap.

The event opened on Sunday 29 November in a lavish ceremony attended by Egypt’s Minister of Youth and Sports Khaled Abdel-Aziz, Vice-President of the ISF Gary Anderson and the president of both the Egyptian and African shooting federations Hazem Hosni. Also attending were other sports dignitaries, ambassadors of the participating nations and the delegations.

Abdel-Aziz welcomed the participants and wished them the best of luck. “We are glad to host this important event here in Cairo and we wish all the athletes the best of luck in their competitions.” He said the venue of the opening ceremony with the Pyramids as a background made it an “exceptional event”.

Anderson then addressed the audience. “I want to begin by saying on behalf of my wife and I our sincere thank you to the people of Egypt and all the jurors of Africa. Your friendship, your warmth and hospitality is absolutely overwhelming,” he said.

“On behalf of the ISSF and our president, I want to extend warm greetings and sincere best wishes for a most successful 12th African Shooting Championship. It is especially appropriate that this championship is taking place in the nation of Egypt because Egypt can legitimately claim to be the world’s first home to target shooting, the world’s oldest engraved records in target shooting with bows and arrows, a 3,500-year-old part of the ancient Egyptian culture.

“This championship is especially important because this is where the 15 2016 Olympic quotas that have been dedicated to Africa will be awarded here in Cairo. For all the participating athletes, we are sure that the president of the Egyptian and African Shooting Federations Hazem Hosni has prepared an excellent competition with all the details necessary to give you the best possible conditions for a truly memorable competition.

“The ISF is proud to count this championship as one of its great and important Olympic qualifying competitions. Thank you to the Egyptian Shooting Federation, the National African Federation for participating and of course the athletes to whom I hope they have a wonderful competition and enjoy their stay in Egypt,” Anderson concluded.

Hosni, who had welcomed his guests at the opening ceremony, then declared the start of the one-week competition. “We have chosen this site, protected by the shade of the Pyramids, to celebrate this event with the officials and shooters of the participating teams,” Hosni said.

“At the dawn of the 19th century, in this very same place, Napoleon Bonaparte declared to his troops and soldiers from the summit of the Pyramids that centuries of civilisations are looking at you. So, it is a vibrating civilisation that is full of life and hope that we are sharing today with you now.

“Sisters and brothers, Egypt is opening its arms to you. Egypt is happy to welcome you on her land, your land.”

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