Muscat – Some of the world’s top athletes have arrived in Oman to take part in the World Athletics Race Walking Team Championships Muscat 22 that will take place over March 4-5 at the Oman Convention and Exhibition Centre (OCEC).
“Friday and Saturday will see as many as 1000 athletes, walkers and sport delegates from about 46 countries participating in the tournament,” said Sheikh Salem bin Saeed al Amri, president of Oman Athletics Association, in a press conference on Wednesday.
Sheikh Amri welcomed the guests as well as Lord Sebastian Coe, President, World Athletics, wishing them a pleasant stay in Oman.
“As you are aware, the sultanate has been privileged to host this major tournament which is organised by the World Athletics every couple of years. This high-profile sporting event was announced last year during Tokyo Olympics and since then, the organising committee – Oman Athletics Association, Oman Sail, Oman Convention & Exhibition Centre have made every effort to make this event a uniquely memorable legacy,” he said.
The event will take place around the splendid loop courses of OCEC, which was selected as a venue for its top-class services and exceptionally accommodative facilities to enable ease of preparations for a highly professional and well-coordinated competition within an optimal time.
The championships will feature seven different race categories – 10km races for under 20 men and women, 20km races for women and 8km master relay races on the first day. On the following day there will be 35km races for men and women, 20km races for men and 10km master races.
Oman will also participate with the national team comprising 15 athletes, and 80-strong crew of referees in addition to 22 international referees to ensure compliance with the rules of the game.
Sheikh Amri said he was hopeful that the event will be a prime opportunity for Oman to reap far-reaching economic, tourism and social benefits by flaring up the local business sectors including freight, aviation, hospitality, transportation and many more.
“On the promotional side, the event will be aired live on over 50 TV stations around the globe. This will effectively showcase the sultanate’s profile as an ideal venue for world class sport events and actually has the potentials to host similar global athletic events in the future.”
From the national team, runner Ayman al Hashmi said that race walking is a sport that demands a lot of expertise, effort, commitment and perseverance. “Our team had started its racewalking workouts under the supervision of professional trainers last year to compete and make national standing.
“The race provides a great opportunity for the Omani athletes to compete against the best runners in the world and get an inspiring exposure,” he said.