The United Arab Emirates' star skeet shooter Seif Bin Futtais talked to Emarat Alyoum  about his dissatisfaction with the preparation for the Rio 2016 Olympics, complaining about the absence of a clear working plan and administrative and coaching staff. This comes as quite a shock, considering the enthusiasm the UAE Olympic Committee initially showed.

As one of three Emirati shooters heading to Rio 2016, Futtais believes the Olympic Committee is jeopardizing the chances of a second UAE Olympic shooting medal.

“The smallest aspects can make a big difference… like implementing a prep plan in advance and organizing training camps overseas,” he said. “This ensures the proper environment that motivates Emirati shooters to continue excelling and reach the Olympic podium.”

He mentioned that the results of the ISSF World Cup last month in Azerbaijan, where he ranked 26th out of 65 shooters in the skeet event while his compatriot Mohamed Ahmad ranked 35th, perfectly illustrated the shooters frustration.

“I competed in the tournament without a staff capable of evaluating my performance nor an assistant, contrary to the world champions, whom I have defeated several times and will face in Brazil. They came to Azerbaijan with a full coaching and technical staff to monitor their performance and direct them towards better results.”

Along with Futtais and Ahmad, the UAE’s Khaled Al Kaabi – another 2016 Olympic shooter – and Juma Al Maktoum took part in the disappointing Azerbaijan World Cup. Kaabi placed 17 out of 30 in the double-trap event, while Maktoum withdrew from the competition.

Source: Facebook/FazzaShootingTeam
Source: Facebook/FazzaShootingTeam

Futtais emphasized the shooting squad’s accomplishments, such as his qualification to Rio 2016 by winning the 2015 World Cup in Cyprus, the Asian gold medal that followed and Saeed Al Maktoum and Khaled Al Kaabi’s Olympic berths. He finds it odd that the NOC is not trying its best to guarantee the the team's readiness for the Olympics, especially since Emirati shooters have reached an elite level internationally and are more likely to reach the Olympic podium than other UAE athletes.

Futtais is therefore taking matters into his own hands and traveling to Europe individually so he can train in a climate similar to that in Rio this summer, as environmental factors play a huge role in a shooter’s performance.