Tuesday,21 May, 2019
Current issue | Issue 1435, (21 - 27 March 2019)
Tuesday,21 May, 2019
Issue 1435, (21 - 27 March 2019)

Ahram Weekly

Darts for all

Mahmoud Bakr attended the announcement of Egypt’s first-ever International Darts Championship

Abdel-Kader
Abdel-Kader

Egypt’s first official International Darts Championship is scheduled from 26 March to 1 April in Marsa Alam, on the shores of the Red Sea. Officials of the Egyptian Darts Federation made the announcement at a press conference attended by top sports officials and journalists. The inaugural event is the first to be held in the Middle East and North Africa region.

According to Yehia Abdel-Kader, the federation’s president, the six-day tournament will be held under the auspices of the Ministry of Youth and Sports. “The support of the government has driven us to be more confident and ask the World Darts Federation (WDF) to award Egypt the organisation of another international event this year. Darts is one sport that can attract tourists to Egypt to follow the competition as well as enjoy tourism in the country. Sports tourism is now playing a great role in promoting all countries all over the world. Actually, we are receiving moral and financial support from both the public and the private sectors in order to bring about a successful event,” Abdel-Kader told Al-Ahram Weekly.

The WDF is the official world sport’s governing body and tournament organiser. It was formed in 1974 by representatives of the original 14 founding members. The WDF encourages the promotion of darts between those bodies in an effort to gain international recognition for darts as a major sport. The WDF is a full member of SportAccord, the governing body for international sports federations.

The WDF stages a world championship (the WDF World Cup), as well as continental championships such as the WDF Americas Cup, the WDF Asia-Pacific Cup and the WDF Europe Cup. The country that is first in the overall leader board — overall best result in the three events, singles, pairs and teams — becomes the world champion. Winners of any of the events can also call themselves the official world champion. Winners of continental championships can call themselves the official champion of their own areas.

Abdel-Kader said Egypt was getting close to establishing an African Darts Federation and holding the 2025 Darts World Cup. “We are in contact with the WDF. The Egypt International Championship has been listed on the calendar of the world federation as an annual event. We are also seeking approval to host another international event and add it to the annual calendar, to have two events every year, one in the Red Sea and another in the Mediterranean area. We are also seeking the honour of being the first in the region to host a World Cup in the sport.”

Abdel-Kader said funding was a major problem that faces sports in general. “Accordingly, this requires the cooperation of all parties and fund-raising resources to host such international events which cost a lot. I would like to thank all our partners and sponsors who have contributed in the organisation of this event and provided the $40,000 allocated as prize money to the winners. I would also like to thank state and private media, international media representatives in Egypt and the Cairo press office for foreign correspondents for their support in promoting darts in media outlets to spread the culture of this game which has become so popular nowadays,” he said.

James Handy, WDF international relations counselor, said the WDF is looking forward to the Egypt championship in Marsa Alam and then the World Cup in Romania. “Our target is that darts becomes a sport for all,” Handy said.

Altogether, 177 male and female athletes will be taking part in the first edition of the Egypt championship. They will be representing 16 Arab, African and European countries and will compete in men’s and women’s singles and doubles competitions.

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