MUSCAT, Sept 20
Oman beach spikers are hoping high at the underway 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, China, as the Sultanate of Oman beach volleyball teams A and B registered opening victories.
The Oman Team B commenced their Asian campaign on Wednesday with a winning note as they edged Macau 2-0. The team comprising Nouh al Jalboobi and Mazin al Hashmi ended the first half at 21-9 with 12 points lead while the deciding set finished at 21-17. Oman Team B are grouped with Iran 'A', Macau 'B' and Tajikistan.
Oman 'A' pair of Ahmed al Hosni and Haitham al Shuraiqi started their matches in Asian Games strongly with a 2-0 victory over South Korea. The Oman team won the first set at 21-8 while the following set ended at 21-10.
Oman 'A' are clubbed with Kazakhstan 'A', East Timor and South Korea 'B'.
In their second match, Oman 'A' lost to Kazakhstan 'A' 2-1. Kazakhstan won the first set 21-16. The Oman spikers bounced back strongly in the following set to win it at 21-15. In the deciding set, the Kazakh pair managed to benefit from Oman team mistakes to convert into points and finish the set with four points gap at 15-9.
Oman’s Ahmed and Haitham will play a vital game on Thursday against East Timor while Oman 'B' pair of Nouh al Jalboobi and Mazin al Hashmi will take on Iran 'A' in a strong encounter. The two toppers from all the eight groups will advance to the knockout stage starting from last 16 round.
Post the match, Oman’s Mazin al Hashami said that the victory against Macau was very crucial for the team specially in the beginning of the tournament. “Our full focus is on today’s assignment against Iran and we hope to defeat them to move into the next level of the tournament. Myself and teammate Nouh will deliver our top technical performance to secure slot in the last 16,” he added.
ISSA TAKES PART IN TORCH RELAY
On the other hand, Oman’s flag will be raised on Thursday at the Olympic Village of the Asian Games. The head of Oman’s delegation, Taha al Kishry, will attend the ceremony in presence of Oman chef de mission and some athletes.
Oman’s Olympic swimmer Issa al Adawi took part in the torch relay at Hangzhou city in China. He was the torch bearer from the Omani contingent. The official opening ceremony of the Asian Games will be held on Saturday and Oman’s delegation will take part in the ceremony.
Oman’s delegation comprised 44 athletes in this Asian Games and will be competing in seven sports namely athletics, weightlifting, aquatics (swimming), sailing, shooting, hockey and beach volleyball.