Shooting His Way to the Top

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Number 2 Shooter Worldwide Hassan El Korey

By Nahla Samaha

The sport of shooting doesn’t exactly capture the big headlines or leading story slots in the mainstream press. Besides the culturally apotheosized sport of football, not much else does in the world of competitive sport in Egypt. However, if for a moment the over-inflated spotlight shed on football is switched off for a short respite, other sports will have the opportunity to take their rightful shining place in the world of professional competitive sports. Take shooting for example. Little is known about this sport, and even less about the outstanding accomplishments that have been achieved by Egyptian athletes in this sport on the local, regional and international levels. To learn more, Cairo East Magazine had a chat with Hassan El Korey, current holder of the 2015 number 2 rank worldwide in the sport of ZZ Bird shooting.

Fresh from his Gold medal win in ZZ Bird at the Italian Grand Prix last August, El Korey, along with his two teammates make up the top 3 shooters in the country. The national team won the Silver medal at the ZZ Bird World Championship, which took place a day after the Italian Grand Prix in Italy. “There were 185 shooters overall from 9 countries, and we won the Silver medal teams,” says El Korey brimming with pride. In Italy is where El Korey received his number 2 rank worldwide award, based on his performance in this and other competitions throughout the year.

El Korey began shooting as a hobby at the age of 12 during hunting trips with his father. It wasn’t until 2005; at the age of 29 that El Korey pursued shooting as a legitimate sport. He started shooting Trap at the Shooting Club in Dokki, which he represents on the national level. In 2006, El Korey joined the National Team and won his first international medal in Trap at the Arab Championships held in Egypt. In 2007, El Korey won 3rd place at the African Championship also held in Egypt.

El Korey competes in Trap, Double Trap, and ZZ Bird, among other shooting genres. The national team, of which El Korey is an integral member, won the Gold medal at the 2014 African Championship in Trap and Double Trap, among countless others wins and trophies acquired individually and as a team.

Despite receiving little to no recognition locally for his and his teammates achievements, El Korey’s national pride when competing overseas is not hindered one bit, “It is an indescribable feeling to win in the name of Egypt, and to raise the Egypt flag,” he says. Championships aside, El Korey manages his agricultural business, and makes time for his wife and his children Maya, 5, and Aly 3, despite the demanding hunting season and the rigorous shooting training schedule.

“I am looking forward to two important championships in 2016,” El Korey tells us, “the World Championship, in which roughly 200 shooters will compete, and the African Championship.” Both of which are going to be held at the Shooting Club in 6th of October, Giza.

“There is an abundance of talent in this sport in Egypt,” says El Korey of the sport he loves so much, “we need the funding to develop this sport; we would rank in the top worldwide if we had the right means. Shooting is not a popular sport culturally, so it is often overlooked,” he says. Despite the obstacles, El Korey and many other athletes like him who are driven by passion and a hunger for excellence, manage to find a way, against all odds, and through tough challenges, to reach the heights of distinction worldwide, and take with them the Egypt name.

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