Russian President Vladimir Putin started his visit to the UAE on October 15th and is scheduled to sign several agreements with his Emirati counterpart in different areas.
Recently the UAE and Russia have witnessed ongoing improvement in several arenas of bilateral relations, among which is cooperation in sports. Both countries share a strategic partnership in the sports sector.
This cooperation grew, especially after the UAE turned out to be one of the most prominent countries in the world in certain sports, such as equestrianism, jujitsu, and archery. Russia has a long history in sporting achievements, and the Russian Olympic Committee, founded in 1911, is one of the oldest in the world.
According to the WAM news agency, sport has become one of the vital bridges of communication between the peoples of the UAE and Russia. A domain with much potential for growth and development, it remains a rich area for discussions in any meeting that brings together officials from the two countries.
UAE sports decision-makers recognise that boxing and winter sports are ones that could benefit from Russian expertise due to the nation’s substantial experience in organising European and world championships, along with summer and winter Olympics. Moscow hosted the Summer Olympics in 1980, and the Winter Olympics in 2014.
Moscow will always have a key place in UAE boxing, especially after the General Assembly of the International Federation met there in November last year and elected Anas Al-Otaiba, President of UAE Boxing Federation, to be president of the Asian Federation and vice president of the International Federation for the first time in history.
WAM also noted that Russia took part in the World Junior Jujitsu Championship held in Abu Dhabi in March 2018. Russia came with a large delegation, which underlined the country’s prominence in this sport. Accordingly, the Emirates Jujitsu Federation, which was established in 2012, responded by organising one of the Abu Dhabi tours in Moscow to join the list of hosting cities which includes Tokyo, Los Angeles, Rio de Janeiro, Abu Dhabi and London. Soon the UAE together with Russian authorities will announce the creation of a major project to expand cooperation and partnership between the two countries, particularly in this sport.
Sheikh Salem bin Sultan Al-Qasimi, member of Executive Bureau of the National Olympic Committee and President of the UAE and Arab Fencing Federations, affirmed that Russia is one of the leading countries in sports in general. “All its results in whether summer or winter Olympic Games are impressive,” said Al-Qasimi, while pointing out that the Russian President Putin himself is a unique sportsman.
Al-Qasimi said, “As athletes, we recognise our leadership’s interest in this important sector, and they are eager to benefit from the experience of all developed countries. Regarding fencing, the Russian school remains one of the most prominent in the world, and we have a strong relationship with the Russian Fencing Federation as we share a common vision for developing a partnership so as to accomplish the interests of both nations.”
In a similar context, Anas Al-Otaiba believes Russia has tremendous proficiency in organising major sporting events. He believes that common experience of both the UAE and Russia can be a solid foundation for a strategic partnership between both countries. “It was in Moscow last November when we gained the world’s and Asia’s confidence, and we always consider Russian boxing as one of the most prominent international schools,” said Al-Otaiba.
Meanwhile, the Russian delegation at the Abu Dhabi 2019 Special Olympics World Games was one of the most significant of the participants. Canada came in first place with 90 gold medals, 37 silver and 28 bronze, Russia in second place with 88 gold, 51 silver and 33 bronze, then India in third place with 72 gold, 98 silver and 96 bronze, and America in fourth place 72 gold, 61 silver, 70 bronze. The UAE finished with 64 gold, 55 silver and 63 bronze, followed by the UK in sixth place with 63 gold, 57 silver and 49 bronze.