Tuesday, December 05
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Omani Asian Games heroes return home to a rousing welcome

30 Sep 2023

Muscat – Oman Sail’s 49er team of Musab al Hadi and Walid al Kindi arrived home on Friday following the sultanate’s first-ever silver medal at the Asian Games.

This win marked the end of a 13-year medal drought for Oman, earning the team automatic qualification to the Asian Qualification Regatta in Chon Buri, Thailand in December. 

Returning to a hero’s welcome at Muscat International Airport, the team has now set its sight on confirming a place in the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. 

Dr Khamis al Jabri, CEO of Oman Sail, commended the pair’s exceptional performance, describing it as a culmination of years of dedicated training and planning. He thanked all the support staff for their unwavering commitment, emphasising the anticipation of more wins in upcoming championships and Olympic qualifiers.

Echoing Jabri’s sentiments, Hashim al Rashdi, Head Coach at Oman Sail, hailed the win as a result of intensive preparations and continuous training. He highlighted the stiff competition faced by the team from top professionals across Asia, underlining the achievement as an addition to Oman’s robust sports legacy.

In his homecoming comments, Hadi voiced the team’s collective pride and commitment to high performance, while Kindi highlighted the years of training and team synergy as key to their success. 

“Our journey in sailing spans years, and the key factors behind our success are continuous development, unceasing training and fostering synergy among team members,” Kindi added.

“We have also sought to harness the experience of international exposure whenever the opportunity arose. I am immensely proud of our accomplishments and hope that this milestone serves as inspiration for all athletes in Oman, demonstrating that winning medals is not an insurmountable feat but an attainable goal through relentless effort and meticulous planning.”

This commendable feat echoes the legacy of Mohammed al Malki who in 1986, won a bronze medal in the 400m race at the Seoul Asian Games. Malki once again proved his mettle, this time securing a gold medal in the same 400m race at the 1990 Beijing Asian Games. 

In 1998, Omani athletes made the nation proud by clinching a bronze in the 4x100m relay at the Bangkok Asian Games. More recently at the 2010 Guangzhou Games, Barakat al Harthy added another bronze with his exceptional performance in the 100m race.

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