The Asian Juniors & Cadets Championships 2016 were held from 20 to 29 February 2016 in Dammam (KSA) and Manama (BRN). This was the first time that the federations of Saudi Arabia and Bahrein jointly organised these Championships. During the opening ceremony Mme Vélichka Hristeva, FIE representative, sent through the speech given by the President of the FIE, M. Alisher Usmanov. The FIE Sport Department delegated Mme AO Jie to go to Dammam and Manama.
With 28 countries represented and 587 athletes present, covering all types of weapons and categories, the record established at the Juniors & Cadets Championships 2015 in the United Arab Emirates was beaten. The exceptional events included the participation of two Saudi foilists in these Championships.
The Saudi Arabian and Bahrein fencing federations were fully committed to organising these championships to the point of including, amongst other things, video refereeing introduced for the cadet challenges upwards, the use of video streaming as well as televised retransmission for the semi-finals and the finals.
Both federations were able to obtain the support of their government as well as a sum of 1.1 million USD from the Saudi Olympic Committee, a principal sponsor “Modern Construction & Roads EST” and 5 other patrons, all of which was enormously helpful in ensuring the success of this event.
M. Sami Saad AL BAKR, President of the Saudi fencing federation and M. Shaikh Ebrahim Bin Salman AL KHALIFA, President of the Bahrein fencing federation, played a very important role in holding these championships. They permanently monitored and coordinated all of the organisation’s work with the help of their personnel and volunteers.
The Asian Fencing Confederation also gave grants to some countries to enable them to send their athletes to these Championships.
The Championship opening ceremony took place on 20 February 2016. HH Prince Hamoud Bin Saud, AL SAUD, Honorary President of the Saudi Fencing Federation, M. Abdulrahman Sadeq ASKAR, Secretary General of the Bahrein Olympic Committee, M. Sami Saad AL BAKR, President of the Saudi Fencing Federation, M. Shaikh Ebrahim Bin Salman AL KHALIFA, President of the Bahrein Fencing Federation and Dr Celos Dayrit, President of the Asian Fencing Confederation, were present.
M. Dayrit thanked Monsieur Sami Saad AL Bakr and M. Shaikh Ebrahim Bin Salman AL KHALIFA for their strong support and assistance in organising these championships.
The individual and team competitions in the cadet category were dominated by Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand, and Libya. We should also mention the medals brought back by India (1 silver medal and 2 bronze medals), and that of the Saudi male epee team (1 bronze medal). The Federations of Kazakhstan, China Taipei and Korea also won medals.
In the juniors, China took 6 gold medals (individual and team male sabre, individual and team male epee, female team sabre and female team epee). Japan came away with 4 gold medals, (individual and team female foil, individual female epee and individual female sabre) while Hong Kong took 2 gold medals (individual and team male foil).
Other nations which were also represented and demonstrated the high quality of their fencers were Singapore, Kazakhstan, Thailand, Korea and China Taipei.
The organisation of these Asian Juniors & Cadets Championships 2016 was a great success thanks to the everybody’s efforts and they were hugely appreciated by the participants.
The two organizer federations also arranged a training course prior to the Championships in which around a dozen federations took part. M. Bruno Gaby (Sabre), M. Julien Guichardan (Epee) and M. Benjamin Wai-Keung LEUNG (Foil) ran the training events.
On the fringes of these championships, the two federations also organised:
- A refereeing seminar for continental referees,
- an examination session for category C referees
- observation of category P referees prior to the Championships.
The Asian Juniors & Cadets Championships 2017 will be held in Thailand.
Deputy Sport Director