The Arab teams are working on increasing standards to compete in global tournaments.
The Saudi national women’s fencing team arrived in Qatar for a training camp at Aspire Academy in Doha alongside its Qatari and Kuwaiti counterparts.
The Saudi team consists of 10 women: Leenn Al-Fozan, Aya Ammar, Yasmine Al-Sabban, Anahid Al-Khaibri, Dana Al-Qassem, Dai Al-Amiri, Laila Firas, Jana Al-Qudmani, Fawzia Al-Khaibri, and Yara Al-Faraidhi.
15 Qatari players and 15 others from the Kuwaiti women’s fencing team are also taking part in the camp, which will focus on training in foil, epee and sabre until 29 December.The kingdom’s team is supervised by Malak Al-Sultan and Daad Al-Misfir, while training sessions for the sabre are being led by Mohammed bin Aziza. Hani Al-Daoud is training the women in epee.
The training camp aims to boost the technical and physical standards of women fencers and provide them with more valuable experience ahead of major tournaments and competitions.
Recently, 15-year-old Saudi fencing champion Mashael Al-Khayal joined a British club in London to further improve her skills to qualify for more wins.
Last year Al-Khayal snatched the gold medal in the Virtual Fencing Intercontinental Epee Cup, following the footsteps of her sister Modawi, who previously reached first place in the same competition.
Ambitious Al-Khayal now hopes to represent her country at the Olympics.
“Mashael has won the silver medal in the kingdom’s Fencing Open Championship, the gold medal in the Virtual Fencing Intercontinental Epee Cup, the bronze medal for teams in the 6th GCC Women’s Games in Kuwait, and the silver medal for teams in the Arab Women Sports Tournament in Sharjah, in addition to several others,” her mother, Tahani said previously.
Al-Khayal, her sister, as well as other successful Arab fencers have since became role models for young females who aspire to become professional athletes.
The presence of the Saudi team in Qatar signifies yet another step towards rapprochement after a four-year bitter dispute that saw the neighbouring kingdom impose an illegal air, land and sea blockade on Doha.
The 2017 crisis, which also involved the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt, ended with the signing of the Al Ula Declaration in January.