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UAE becomes first Middle Eastern country to win distinct honors at recently concluded All Japan Koi Show

An Emirati team led the UAE to become the first Middle Eastern country to win a major award during the 50th anniversary of the All Japan Koi show 2019 (AJKS). Aside from bagging the prestigious Botan award, the team was also able to win five first place awards (gold trophies) at the event.

The 50th edition of the All Japan Koi Show 2019, Nishikigoi of the World, took place in Tokyo last (date). The recent wins of the UAE have made it the first country from the Middle East to get a major prize and gold in the tournament, which is internationally recognised as the world cup of the Koi beauty.

Koi, which is termed as the swimming jewel, is the national fish of Japan and is called “Nishikigoi” in Japanese. It is a symbol of peace and serenity and is known as the ultimate Feng Shui of Japanese culture–auspicious for health, wealth, and prosperity. Emperors of Japan kept the highest quality of best-colored fish. From there on the love of beautiful koi fish spread to the rest of the world.

Dr Haidar Al Yousuf, a high-level health official is an Emirati Koi enthusiast and a local expert in koi keeping. He participated in the AJKS and won five gold trophies across five different categories. Meanwhile, a koi bred from the Hirasawa Marusie koi farm won the Botan prize in the 55 bu a shiro Bekko category, becoming the first person from the region to win a major award in the prestigious show.

Al Yousuf said: “The All Japan Koi Show is the ultimate challenge and award in Japanese koi keeping, which is the world cup of Koi beauty.  Winning in the AJKS is a dream to many top koi keepers all over the world and we are thrilled that we received this award particularly as it makes the UAE the first country in the Middle-East to receive this distinction.”

Dr Al Yousuf, in partnership with Tony Pitham, formed the Koi Water Barn Dubai, the only specialized Japanese Koi and Koi Pond Company in the region, where Koi Water Barn UK, is a world leader in the koi industry internationally.

Pitham has judged at various koi world championships many times and is recognized as the first non-Japanese specialist to serve as supplier of the best in show or Grand Champion at the 2006 All Japan Koi Show with a famous Koi named “Yamato” by the breeder Kentaro Sakai of Sakai Fish Farm.

Al Yousuf, added: “It has now become possible for this part of the world to enjoy high-end Japanese koi and this team has put UAE on the international koi map.”

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