Weightlifter Khanjari to make his Olympic debut after late inclusion
Oman’s 22 year old swimmer Issa al Adawi, who will be making his Olympic debut, has been named the sultanate’s flag-bearer at the Tokyo Olympics by the Oman Olympic Committee (OOC) on Tuesday.
The OOC announced the sultanate’s delegation for the 32nd Olympic Games, which will be held from July 23-August 8 in Tokyo, Japan.
As reported earlier by Muscat Daily, OOC had been handed three invitation cards for its athletes – Adawi, sprinter Barakat al Harthi and shooter Hamed al Khatri. However, in a late and encouraging development, the OOC confirmed that a fourth athlete also received an invitation card – weightlifter Amer al Khanjari.
Khanjari will be the second athlete to make his debut at the Olympics along with Adawi. Both Barakat and Khatri had represented Oman earlier at the Games. Khanjari will compete in the 81kg class and will be joined by his coach Mazen al Badri.
Adawi, who has been training at the Chukyo University in Tokyo for the past three years, will compete in the 100m freestyle race and will be accompanied by his coach Aiman al Kulaibi. Barakat, an Asian Games bronze-medallist, will compete in the 100m race and will travel with his coach, Mohammed al Hooti.
Khatri, who was Oman’s flag-bearer at the Rio Olympics, will participate in the 50m rifle three positions event. Sultan al Rashidi will be the shooting coach and will be joined by team administrator Sulaiman al Hinai.
The official delegation will be led by OOC chairman Sayyid Khalid al Busaidi and will include OOC secretary general Taha al Kishry and Oman’s chef-de-mission Kazim al Balushi.
In a press statement, Busaidi said, “Our goal remains that our athletes achieve new records, and we have great confidence in our players. We had hoped for a larger representation. However, none of our national teams qualified for Olympic Games, which leads us to plan a long-term strategy for participation at the top-most level.”
Noticeably, this is also the first time since 2008 Olympics in Beijing, China, that Oman will not be sending any female athlete.
Oman’s first woman Olympian was sprinter Buthaina al Yaqoubi, at the Beijing Games.
Sprinters Shnoona al Habsi (2012), Mazoon al Alawi (2016) and shooter Wadha al Balushi (2016) were the other Omani women at the Olympics.
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