Will Oman sailors make history by qualifying for the Tokyo Olympic Games at home?
The Omani pairs of Musab al Hadi and Waleed al Kindi and Ahmed al Hasani and Abdulrahman al Mashari have a golden opportunity to write a new chapter in sultanate’s sport history as the only spot from Asia in 49er class for the Tokyo Olympic Games will now be determined at Al Mussanah from April 1-8. The Asian 49er Championship, which also serves as an Olympic qualifier, was scheduled to be held in Abu Dhabi, UAE, but has now been shifted to Oman.
The eyes of the sailing community will now be on the sultanate during the Mussanah Open Championship 2021, which will be the final Asia and Africa Olympic Qualifier with races from April 3-8.
The Mussanah Open Championship will be organised by Oman Sail and besides the 49er class, the other classes that will be the final Olympic qualifier during the regatta are Laser, Laser Radial, 49erFX and RS:X for men and women.
It may be mentioned that Oman Sail has a successful track-record in hosting international sailing events. The venue, Al Mussanah Sport City, has hosted a wide variety of continental and world championships.
These includes the second Asian Beach Games (2010), Extreme Sailing Series (from 2011), Laser World Championships (2013), RS:X Worlds (2015), Laser Radial Women’s World Championships (2015), IODA Asian & Oceanian Championship (2019), World Sailing Annual Conference (2013) and Asian Sailing Federation (ASAF) General Meeting (2019).
At the Mussanah Open, six days of qualifying races are expected to feature more than 150 sailors from nearly 65 countries with the successful sailors achieving their goals of qualifying for the Tokyo Olympics, to be held from July 23-August 8.
For the Omani quartet, who have been training hard, it will be a dream to make it to the Tokyo Games by qualifying at home.
No Omani sailor has qualified for Olympics before and there are lot of hopes on the quartet, given that they now have a slight advantage of competing and sailing in home conditions.