Shooters from over 50 countries will be taking part in the 49th CISM World Military Shooting Championship this month, officials of Qatar Armed Forces announced here yesterday.
The nine-day championship will be contested in 12 categories, six for men and an equal number for women, with 720 shooters vying for the top honours at the Losail Shooting Range.
“We are happy to receive shooters from 51 countries who are going to participate in the championship,” said Major General Dahlan Al Hamad, of the Qatar Armed Forces and a key member of the organising committee of the championship.
Speaking at a press conference here yesterday, Dahlan said the competition will be tough and some of the top shooters will be turning out for their respective military teams.
“The good about shooting sport is that fortunes fluctuate. One day they are on the top, the other day they are down. But, we are proud that majority of the champions who are registered as soldiers with their respective military are participating here. The results are going to be tough because the quality of the field participation is very high. Everybody is taking this championship seriously, so we have a tough competition on hand.”
This is the second time Qatar is hosting a major military shooting championship.
In 2013, Qatar Armed Forces in collaboration with CSIM had hosted the Second CISM International Shotgun Championship at the same venue.. The three-day championship was sanctioned by International Military Sports Council (CISM) and had 65 shooters from ten countries taking part in the Trap and Skeet categories.
Shooters from Bahrain, Finland, Iraq, Italy, Kuwait, Latvia, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar and Thailand took part in the military shooting championship held three years back.
CISM is a worldwide organisation with member countries spread across continents and its organises various sporting events for the armed forces for 133 member countries.
The ultimate goal of CISM is to contribute to world peace by uniting armed forces through sports and they operate under the motto Friendship through Sport.
Founded in 1948, the CISM is one of the largest multidisciplinary organisations in the world.
Hosts Qatar will have the largest delegation taking part in the championship.
The hosts contingent will consist of 29 shooters and ten officials, the same as China.
The team as part of the training programme for the championship have been taking part in various camps outside Qatar.
The team had a training camp in Switzerland last month. The camp ended with Qatari shooters taking part in the European international military championship and gave a good account, winning four medals.
Currently the team is training in Qatar.
“Our team having participated outside during the past championships are ready for the event in Qatar. We had a camp outside Qatar and the preparation has been good. After the camp, we took part in a championship and we managed to get two silver and two bronze medals,” said Dahlan.
“With a big number of former world champions and Olympics champions in the field – competition is expected to be very strong. Shooters will be aiming not to just hit still targets but moving and flying targets during the championship. So it will be difficult for the participants,” he added.
Dahlan said Qatar aim to host more CISM in the coming years.
“We hope to play our role in the military sports movement. We hope to continue and host more military events and will hope to continue and also achieve success in the events.
The last World Military Shooting Championship took place in South Korea in November 2015, while Switzerland had the honour of hosting the top military shooters a year earlier.
Meanwhile, Qatar having delivered a perfect show in 2013 is keen to host the best world championship this year too and have formed various committees for hosting the championship.
Around 17 committees have been formed under the main organising committee for the smooth conduct of the championship, informed officials.
The organising committee is getting ready the technical facilities at the Losail Shooting Complex in perfect condition in cooperation with Qatar shooting and archery association.
The opening ceremony will be held on November 13 at 3.30pm, while the closing ceremony will take place on November 19. Teams will be reaching Doha by November 10.
Meanwhile, organisers informed that an exhibition featuring International companies specialising in shooting products will held on the sidelines of the championship. The latest shooting ammunition in the form of pistols, guns and rifles, will be on display and the companies will also provide technical support to the participants.
Posted by Thom Erik Syrdahl