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Thursday October 31, 2013 MYT 3:37:00 PM
Thursday October 31, 2013 MYT 3:39:54 PM
by lim teik huat
Palestine's Abdel Alrahman Ayob (left) training for the broadsword event at the World Wushu Championships starting Friday at KLBA Stadium, Cheras, watched on by his coach Harbi Bang Thib. He is the first Palestinian exponent to take part in the biennial meet.
KUALA LUMPUR: Others are here with their own weapons but there is no such luxury for Palestinian exponent Abdel Alrahman Ayob.
Just making it to the World Wushu Championships in Kuala Lumpur is already an achievement for the 31-year-old.
It is the first time Palestine is represented at the biennial world meet for wushu.
To arrive here, Ayob had to go on a four-hour bus trip to Jordan as the nearest airport is located in Amman. This was followed by a flight to Dubai to take a connecting flight to Kuala Lumpur.
”It takes two days for us to reach here after we step out of our homes in Palestine.
”The bigger problem is not the travelling but whether we can get out of Palestine as it depends on whether we are able to clear the Israel border checkpoint.
”I was invited to compete when Turkey hosted the World Wushu Championships in 2011 but I could not get out of Palestine.
”This is one of the reasons why I appreciate my presence here in Kuala Lumpur for my first World Championships competition,” said Ayob with the help of coach Harbi Bang Thib, who also acts as his interpreter.
Ayob is the only athlete from Palestine present for the world meet. According to the coach, two more exponents were supposed to come but they were not able to make the trip.
Ayob will be competing in daoshu (broadsword) and gunshu (cudgel) disciplines at the world meet starting on Friday.
He will be using weapons loaned to him by the Wushu Federation of Malaysia (WFM).
Ayob has been involved in wushu for 14 years and competed in the Tunisia Arab Games in 2002.
”There are not many opportunities for us to compete in competitions overseas but we love the sport.
”It is an outlet for us to keep our minds healthy,” he added.
In fact, according to the coach, wushu is a relatively popular martial arts discipline in Palestine.
”There are many clubs teaching lessons. I also have my own martial arts club and I am teaching students from six to 40 years of age.
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