Sheikh Saif al Hosni was elected as the new chairman of the Oman Athletics Association (OAA) on Sunday, but his lopsided win for a four-year term was overshadowed by a dramatic finish to the contests for the posts of general secretary and treasurer.
The fights for both the posts ended in a tie, and the incumbents - Fauzi al Kiyumi (general secretary) and Khalfan al Jufaili (treasurer) - decided to withdraw from the next round of the election.
Said al Qasmi replaces Kiyumi as the general secretary and Hamdan al Bausheri takes Jufaili's place as treasurer. Qasmi and Kiyumi were tied on 12 votes with Bausheri and Jufaili.
Meanwhile, the OAA chairman's election earlier in the evening was hardly a contest. Hosni polled 19 of the 24 votes to defeat his main rival Hamad al Jabri (4 votes), the outgoing OAA chief. The third candidate in fray, Jihad al Sheikh, managed just one vote.
The vice-chairman's election was a tight affair as Abdullah al Marhoon (11 votes) snatched victory by a two-vote margin to beat Mohammed al Hinai (9 votes). Outgoing vice-chairman Mansoor al Tauqi garnered four votes.
The decision of Kiyumi and Jufaili to withdraw from the second round of polling took the club representatives at the annual general assembly by surprise.
The two later explained that they chose to stay away from the second round to show solidarity with outgoing OAA chairman Jabri and outgoing vice-chairman Tauqi.
Speaking to Muscat Daily after his win, new OAA chief Hosni said, “It is a big win and I thank the 19 clubs who have shown trust in me. I hope I can take the OAA forward.
"The previous board had done a good job, we would like to do the same. All I can promise now is that we will bring in changes during our term to benefit Oman athletics.”
Hosni, who has served as vice-chairman of the Oman Football Association in the past, said, “My priority is to take athletics to all the 43 clubs and make it the second most popular sport in the country.”
The five new elected members of the OAA board are Majid al Busafi (23 votes), Khalfan al Waili (19), Obaid al Manwari (18), Mohammed al Asmi (17) and Ali al Shehri (15). Abdullah al Saidi (14) and Hassan al Lawatia (14) lost the race for the five posts.