One of the contestants taking part in Al Tala’s round.
DOHA: Six participants emerged winners at yesterday’s Al Tala’a competition at the fifth Qatar International Falcon and Hunting Festival at Sabkath Marma in Sealine.
The winners in the first round included Abdulhadi Hamad Al Marri, Hamad Ali Al Marri, Jaber Ali Al Kafrani and Ali Jaber Al Baridi while second round winners were Saleh Ebaid Al Marri and Mohammad Sayah Al Mansouri.
Thirty-four participants took part yesterday.
Mohammad Mubarak Al Maadeed, Chairman of Al Tala’a organising committee, said having six winners in the early part of the contest showed a good line-up of competitors who were taking the contest seriously.
“We will select the best 10 winners to compete in the final round in which three will be chosen,” he said, adding if the number of finalists exceeded 10, the judging panel would look into criteria, including distance and time to trim down the finalists to 10.
At the Hadad challenge, yesterday’s winner was Tuwaim Mohammed Al Malkas Al Marri.
This year, Hadad challenge attracted a record 547 participants, divided into 16 groups. For this reason, the category is one of the most challenging. It also attracts huge audience as shaheen is one of the fastest falcons known for its beauty in flight.
Another group will compete in Al Tala’a round this morning while the Hadad challenge will continue in the afternoon.
This year’s festival includes additional programmes for the public such as a shooting contest.
Ahmad Mubarak Al Kuwari, Chairman of the shooting committee, said shooting competitions are held daily from 9am until afternoon for different ages to entertain visitors.
Catered for youngsters aged 12 to 18, the contest is an opportunity to select people with potential for the sport who can be trained to be professional shooters, Al Kuwari added.
The festival is attracting more families, especially during weekends and yesterday people came early to watch events.
Abdulaziz Al Abdullah, a journalism graduate of Qatar University, praised the organisers for expanding facilities, especially the prayer area and play area for children.
Qatari falconer Abdulaziz Mohammad Al Harami said falconry is an important aspect of the Qatari heritage as citizens love falcons.
Last October, the price of falcons and birds increased, especially of the shaheen falcon because it was needed for the festival, he said.
Abdullah Mohammad, a participant from Saudi Arabia, said, “We are proud to see this successful and well-organised festival which is attracting people from the GCC and other Arab countries.”