KSA’s martial arts heroine: ‘I got into kickboxing by means of twist of fate, as I just desired to sign up for a health club’

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JEDDAH: Zahra Al-Qurashi never anticipated to be where she is today: A gold medal winner in full contact kickboxing at the Open International Tournament for Clubs elderly directly 21. What started as a health club class two years in the past soon changed into a passion, leading to her victory in Amman on Sunday. “I was given into kickboxing by accident, as I just desired to join a gymnasium. I located the magnificence and gave it a strive, and determined to keep attending the classes,” she said. “Ayr in the past, I joined Flagboxing Gym and commenced schooling with my coach Grethe (Kraugerud). With her assist, I evolved my style, and I am enhancing every day.”

Full touch is a field of kickboxing where punches and kicks must be brought to clean areas of the frame. According to the World Association for Kickboxing Organizations’ rules, it is criminal to assault the front of the pinnacle and front and facet of the torso, using “ankle-degree foot sweeps.” It is unlawful to attack the throat, decrease abdomen, lower back, legs, joints, returned of the top and top of the shoulders. A medal at her first international opposition, then, speaks volumes approximately Al-Qurashi’s tenacity. She took the gold in the girls’ 70 kg category, beating Jordanian Heba Wasfi. “As quickly as I entered the hoop, everything went blank, I couldn’t listen or see all and sundry however my opponent, so I don’t without a doubt don’t forget hearing my call even,” stated Al-Qurashi. “I got a couple of truly right kicks and punches, but she turned into a perfect opponent. I turned into in my sector although, following each circulated and made positive I didn’t make errors.”

Hala Al-Hamrani, the proprietor of Flagboxing Gym in Jeddah, stated: “I am over the moon. I even have dreamt approximately this taking place for 16 years, ever because I started out coaching. My intention changed into to sooner or later provide the women of this USA with a possibility to compete.” For approximately two months, Kraugerud, from Norway, oversaw Al-Qurashi’s exercises, including greater sparring, c program language period training and severe ring exercise. “I’ve had Zahra spar with guys, who’re larger and stronger than her, to give her a feel of what to anticipate in the ring, to give her more self-assurance and make her mentally organized,” stated Kraugerud. “I changed into very proud of her as she entered the ring, you can see the respect for the game pondered in her. We did a sincerely good job at Flag; we virtually drove for this together as a crew. She’s younger, but she’s talented, and she or he will pass a long way.” Al-Hamrani, a member of the Saudi Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) Federation, added: “We got her prepared via imparting her with the proper exercise and training. It’s a dream come real, and it’s very overwhelming because it became one of these great manners for something like this to happen. Zahra is an up-and-coming athlete who with any luck has a high destiny, and I’m extremely excited to see what that future holds.” Abdul Aziz Julaidan, chairman of the Saudi MMA Federation, hailed the result after a hard bout among the two competing and thanked Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisal, chairman of the General Sports Authority, for the aid he had given to the crew. Upon returning to her homeland of Jeddah, Al-Qurashi turned into greeted by way of her mom. “I become hugging her and crying and mother, being a mother, requested if I turned into crying because I was given hit,” she laughed. “That was her manner of saying: I’m happy with you.”