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Kuwaiti women choose competitive shooting as llaunchpad for success.

By Muneera Al-Rabeea KUWAIT, March 11 (KUNA) -- The Kuwaiti woman has excelled in all fields in the midst of the society's decades-long efforts to empower and provide her with the role she so rightfully deserves. Her success story has become a model women's rights activists from around the region look to follow. Competitive sports are one of these fields illustrating a clear example of these successes, particularly in shooting, once categorized as a male-only affair. Kuwaiti women, aged 9-22, gather every day at Kuwait Shooting Club to train. Their training covers all disciplines of the sport, using both pistol and rifle. The potential shooters are cleared to join the club on the conditions of good conduct and physical ability, former women's shooting team chief Amina Ismail told KUNA. They are all allowed to compete locally, however, international competition is only granted to those with the highest points, according to Ismail. The most notable of Kuwaiti women shooters is Maryam Erzouqi, who competed in both the women's 10m air rifle and women's 50m three position events at the London 2012 Summer Olympics. The shooter, who was 25 years old at the time, managed to come 28th and 44th, respectively in both competitions. Others have also made their mark in the sport. Trap shooter Shahad Al-Hawal was the first Arab woman to have qualified for a World Cup, back in 2009 in San Marino, and came fourth in the subsequent tournament a year later in Italy. She has also clinched Arab Championship gold for three consecutive years and an Asian Clay Shooting Championship silver medal at Almaty, Kazakhstan, in 2009. As for the difficulties that face the shooters, these include impaired visibility due to sandstorms that occur from time to time in the country's harsh desert climate, Iman Al-Shamaa says. Another hindering factor is the extreme heat, with temperatures sometimes rising to above 50 degrees Celsius, adds the trap shooter, who has also won several local accolades. (end)

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Publication:Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)
Date:Mar 11, 2018
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