Muscat, March 6: Oman’s sporting stars came under one roof at the glittering annual awards of the Ministry of Sports Affairs at the Sheraton Oman Hotel on Monday evening.
His Excellency Shaikh Saad bin Mohammad bin Saeed Al-Mardoy al Saadi, The Minister of Sports Affairs, felicitated and congratulated the shining beacons of Oman sport in the presence of Rashad bin Ahmed al Hinai, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Sports Affairs.
The likes of motorsports legend Ahmad al Harthy, the young and exciting karting sensation Shihab al Habsi, the Oman tent-pegging team and the Oman Olympic football team were among the galaxy of teams gathered for the momentous occasion.
Some of the participants at the awards shared their experience and joy of being at the prestigious awards with Oman Daily Observer.
Mohammad Salim al Malki, the manager of the Oman tent pegging team, was overjoyed at being present at the awards and shared his thoughts and insights.
“Let me tell you…we are very proud to be here at this function. We are a team of five riders plus two coaches and an assistant coach and I am the team manager. Our riders are Hilal al Balushi, Ahmed al Riyami, Safwan al Maamari, Ali al Balushi and Omar Lassani and coach is Mansour al Mahroui. Mohammad Jumaal al Malki is the assistant coach and our coordinator is Khamis,’’ said Al Malki, introducing his fine team.
“We are all getting the awards and we are thankful to His Excellency, the Minister of Sports Affairs for this honour. We are here every year. We are here for getting the second place in the Beach World Cup in Masirah Island last year and also for getting selected along with Yemen and Jordan in the World Cup Qualifier in Salalah in Khareef last year,” he added.
“We would like to thank and appreciate the Oman Equestrian Federation (OEF) President Sayyid Mundhir bin Saif al Busaidy, the man who is responsible for helping us reach this position,’’ he added.
Oman motorsports star Ahmad al Harthy also expressed his happiness at being felicitated at the gala event.
“This amazing event which is held here for sportspersons is great. It is such an honour to be here and to be invited especially after what we have achieved winning the Pro-Am championship and winning the team championship is the first time in the Arab world,’’ he added.
“It is something that motivates us as athletes and helps us to do better going forward,’’ Ahmad said.
Ahmad felt it is special to be at the awards ceremony although he has been an invitee on several occasions in the past.
“I think this is the sixth or seventh time because every year we have been winning championships and winning races. So, it is a wonderful feeling,’’ he added.
“Hopefully I motivate others at the event here and I get motivated by others as well.’’
SPORTS MINISTER APPLAUDS ATHLETES
The Sports Minister applauded the great efforts of the Omani athletes in various sporting disciplines.
“It is a great pleasure to celebrate together this wonderful sporting evening with the honor of a group of Omani sports stars who have made remarkable achievements and added to the achievements of Omani sport.’’
The event was attended by 450 athletes representing Oman Football Association, Oman Athletics Association, Oman Handball Association, Oman Volleyball Association, Oman Swimming Association, Oman Equestrian Federation, Oman Shooting Association, Oman Tennis Association, Oman School Sport Association, Oman Weightlifting Committee , Oman Bodybuilding Committee, University Sports Committee, Omani Cycling Committee, Oman Sailing Committee, Oman Table Tennis Committee, Oman Women Sports Committee, Oman Beach Sports Committee, Oman Taekwondo Committee, Oman Ice Sports Committee , Oman Automobile Association, Oman Cricket Club, Oman Paralympic Committee and National Rowing Team.