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EDITOR IN CHIEF- ABDULLAH BIN SALIM AL SHUEILI

Oman clinch six medals as GCC Games begin

Three gold, one silver and two bronze medals won
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The Oman athletics team won six medals on the opening day of the third GCC Games in Kuwait City on Monday.


At the Ahmed Al Rashdan Athletic Arena, Oman's Hiba al Asmi won the gold medal in javelin throw by clearing a distance of 36.40 metres. Oman's Mazoon al Alawi became the sprint queen by winning the women's 100 metres in 11.47 seconds ahead of Mudhawi al Shammari of Kuwait (11.52 seconds) and Hajar al Khaldi of Bahrain (11.56 secs).


Mazoon claimed a silver in 100 metres hurdles in 13.87 seconds.


In the men's section, star sprinter Barakat al Harthy had to satisfy with a bronze in the 100 metres clocking a time of 10.30 seconds. Tosin Ogunode of Qatar emerged the fastest with 10.05 seconds and Abdullah Akbar of Saudi Arabia bagged the silver in 10.21 seconds.


In men's 110 metres hurdles, Oman's Khalfan al Jabri won the bronze in 15.04 seconds.


The third gold for Oman came through Salim al Yarabi who powered to a distance of 7.58 metres.


More than 1,700 men and women athletes are participating in the third edition of the Games attended by six Gulf states, Sultanate of Oman, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Qatar, Bahrain and the hosts Kuwait.


The Games will include 16 individual and group games: handball, volleyball, basketball, futsal, swimming, athletics, karate, judo, fencing, archery, tennis, cycling, ice hockey, table tennis, electronic games and padel sports.


Women are also part of the Games for the first time in its history.


Women are taking part in futsal, cycling, athletics, table tennis, tri-basketball, electronic games and padel.


Oman runner Ali al Balushi had also qualified for the finals of 100 metres race with a timing of 10.58 seconds.


In the 400 metres, Oman's Othman al Busaidi entered the finals after recording a time of 48.17 seconds, while team-mate Ahmed al Saadi also made the mark in 48.89 seconds.


Meanwhile, the Oman volleyball team will participate in its first training session after arriving in Kuwait to participate in the Games. Oman team is coming after a 10-day camp in Bulgaria.


Rashid bin Salem Beit Maghrab, board member of Oman Volleyball Association and Chairman of Referees Committee, said the team's participation in the tournament will not be easy as top Gulf teams Qatar and Bahrain are front-runners for the title.


"The team's previous training and camps were more than good, as the team had enough opportunity to prepare according to the plan that was developed by the team's technical staff through the internal and external camps."


About his expectations for the team in the tournament, Rashid Beit Maghrab said: "If the team manages to overcome the Bahraini team, I think Oman can earn a silver. Top international team Qatar are favourites for the gold medal."


The Oman national team will complete their participation in the third Gulf Games championship in Kuwait on Friday, May 20, where they will play against the Qatari team, while they will play their second match next Saturday, May 21, against the Kuwaiti team. On Tuesday, May 24, they will play against the UAE national team, and will finish participation in the tournament on Thursday, May 25, against the Saudi national team.


On the other hand, the swimming competitions began on Tuesday, which were held at the Shaikh Nasser al Mohammed Aquarium Complex, and the Oman national team will compete on Tuesday in several races.


The first day’s competitions include the 200-metres freestyle, the 200-metres butterfly, 400-metres medley, the 1,500-metres freestyle, and the 4x100 metres medley relay.


The technical and administrative staff of the swimming team includes administrators Ahmed bin Ali al Marhoon, Ahmed bin Hamad al Saeedi, coach Mohammed bin Moez al Khiari and his assistant Ayman bin Hamad al Kulaibi. The swimmers are Ayman bin Talib al Qasimi, Nidal bin Suleiman al Harrasi, Nayef bin Munir al Qasimi, Abdul Rahman bin Yahya al Kulaibi, Issa bin Samir al Adawi and Muhannad bin Younis.


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