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Khaled Mohammed Al Yazeidi (third left), Secretary-General of Qatar Fencing Federation (QFF) and Fahad Al Mulla (third right), President of the Organising Committee of the Qatar 2013 Fencing Grand Prix and World Cup and other officials pose during a press conference at the QFF Headquarters in Doha yesterday. Also seen are Khaleed Gohal (left), Abdallah Al Moadid (second left), Director of Adminstration at QFF, Mohammed Al Sehli (second right) and Ali Abderraham Belhaj. The Qatar 2013 Fencing Grand Prix and World Cup will take place from January 18 and 21. The preliminary rounds will be held at the Indoor Hall of Aspire Academy for Sports Excellence, while the semi-finals and finals of both the men’s and women’s events will be held at the Gate mall. PICTURE BY: SALIM MATRAMKOT
By Armstrong Vas
Doha: Fencing is set for a spectator friendly move during the Qatar 2013 Fencing Grand Prix and World Cup, informed Qatar Fencing Federation (QFF) officials here yesterday.
The final rounds of the Qatar 2013 Fencing Grand Prix and World Cup will be held at the Gate mall in a new move to attract more fans.
The preliminary rounds of the 10th edition of the Championship in Epee will be held at the Indoor Hall of Aspire Academy for Sports Excellence, informed officials of QFF during a press conference ahead of the January 18 to 21 event.
QFF is seeking to make it easy for folks shopping at the Gate Mall to keep an eye on their favourite fencers.
“The Federation will be hosting the semi-finals and finals of the Qatar 2013 Fencing Grand Prix and World Cup at the shopping mall.
“This is the first time we are hosting the championship in a shopping mall in the ten year history of the championship. We have started thinking about how to improve the experience of watching fencing for spectators,” said Khaled Mohammed Ali Al Yazeidi, Secretary-General of QFF.
“The public will have a chance to experience world-class fencing ﬁrst hand at the mall. We believe that it will be very successful in exposing fencing to the general public,” Al Yazeidi added.
Qatar will host the world’s top players for the 10th edition of the Championship in epee which will be contested by 240 players from 45 countries.
“All the top ranked 32 players, from both the men’s and women section, will be in Doha for the event.
The field in the men’s section will be led by Olympic gold medalist Ruben Limardo Gascon of Venezuela, while China’s Yujie Sun will be the player to watch out in the women’s section. Players from eight Arab countries will also be seen in action in the championship,” said Ziad Ferani, Technical expert at QFF.
Gascon left London with Venezuela’s first ever gold medal since 1968, and the second in Olympic history by winning the men’s individual épée, at last year’s Olympics.
Sun won gold in the individual event in the women’s section at the London Games. The qualifiers and the round of 64 of the women’s individual and team event will be staged at the Aspire Academy.
“The preliminary qualification rounds and the round of 64 of the men’s individual section will be held on January 18 at Aspire Academy. The semi-finals and final of men’s section will be held on January 19 from 6.00pm at The Gate mall,” added Ferani.
“The women’s last four matches and the final of the individual event will also be hosted at the Gate mall on January 20 from 6.00pm, while the final of the women’s team event will take place on January 21 at the shopping mall from 6.00pm. All other rounds of both the categories will be held at Aspire Academy,” added the QFF official.
The winner in the men’s section will collect a purse of $10,000, while the women’s winner will be richer by $6,000. Players who finish in the top eight positions will be entitled to prize money, said the organisers.
In the women’s team event, a first place finish will fetch a cheque of $6,000, while the second and third place finishers will get $4,000 and $2,000 respectively.
Matches will be officiated by 19 international referees and seven local Qatari referees.
Hosts Qatar’s challenge at the championship will be spearheaded by 22 players, who will be competing in both the men’s and women’s event.
Park Kyoung-Doo of South Korea won the individual championship last year here in Qatar.
Navarria Mara of Italy won the individual championship last year.