Lebanon opens doors to future Arab Championships

Sunday 13th October 2019

Lebanon was at the heart of Arab freediving technical events this weekend. Lebanon Water Festival held the First Arab and National Championship in Precision Target Shooting event in Lebanon, with the collaboration of Algerian President of CMAS, Mr. Mohamad BouBaker and Tunisian President of CMAS Fathi Jabalia. Mr. Jabalia is also member of the technical commission of Target Shooting at CMAS and clearly expressed his satisfaction:  “We would like to explicitly thank Mr. Simon Khoury who was able to organize an Arab meeting, while CMAS had been unable to do so for the last 3-4 years in this discipline. What highlights this Arab Competition of 3 countries, is that they all started this discipline less than 2 years ago and called upon foreign trainers, respectively, the Italian federation for Tunisia, the French federation for Algeria and Lebanon. They all started by organizing national competitions to introduce the discipline and grow the interest of that sport. They did so by applying the international rules and regulations, which are still under approval after numerous modifications. The competition was a success, even under those difficult conditions, and opens the door for future larger competitions, including a World Cup that could take place in the near future. Congratulations to the winners and to all participants who have acquired a valuable experience and developed strong ties of friendship among athletes, organizers and judges.”

The championship took place in a new sport complex Michel Sleiman in Jbeil – “Step Ahead” and is conducted in a semi Olympic pool. A total of 18 participants registered for the competition, but some had to be disqualified due to non-conformity of the spear guns, as stipulated by the international rules and regulations, currently still under approval.  Championship target shooting spear guns are different from the ones used for sea spear fishing activities.

In the Arab Championship Algeria won the gold and silver medals with 2615 and 2325 points respectively, followed by Lebanon who won the Bronze medal with 1905 points. Fadi Abdullah can be proud of his exploit given the novelty of that sport in Lebanon.

For the National Lebanese Championship Fadi Abdullah won the 1st place, followed by Paul Ndaira with 1860 points, and Mohamad Rifi with 1720 points.

Mr. BouBaker concluded the championship by saying that he is “satisfied but knows his participants can do better, as they had double the points in the Algerian competition that was last organized. The two selected elite Algerian athletes came to this Championship not knowing what to expect as it relates to the level of their competitors. This added more pressure on their shoulders because they came to Lebanon to win, so did the pressure of the championship. This is the first official serious championship, under CMAS international rules, with a member of the technical comity, and trained Cams judges. We have to thank the Lebanon Water Festival for having the courage to organize such an event, and especially Mr. Simon Khoury who’s wisdom allowed us to help clarify rules that need to be clearer, as it relates to spear gun use. Target shooting is a discipline we will encourage in the future as it is more environmentally friendly than some other disciplines.”