New plans needed for Tokyo Olympics preparation: Kadhim

On March 24, the organising committee and International Olympic Committee agreed on the postponement of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games to 2021 due to the recent global coronavirus pandemic. This decision has given more time for many countries that were lacking the preparation for the biggest sports event.

Kadhim al Balushi, Oman’s Chef de Mission at 2016 Rio Olympic Games, shed his thoughts on the postponement of Tokyo Olympics.

“Based on my personal experience with the sports associations in the Sultanate, we are lacking proper studies of our failure in the previous Olympic and Asian Games. Let’s take some real examples, after 2016 Rio Olympic Games and 2018 Asian Games in Indonesia, the Sultanate could not earn a single medal. However, there was no quick response from the associations and committees to address the weak points. Moreover, all the associations and committee remained with their same plans without benefiting from the previous participations,” he said.

Al Balushi, also Oman Chef de Mission at 2018 Asian Games in Indonesia, highlighted that each sports association and committee should prepare an applicable strategic plans. “I recommend that all the sports associations should make revised long-term plans for four and eight years including applicable ways to implement this strategic sports project.”

“In addition to that, the plans should include comprehensive participations to earn qualification for the Olympics. The technical follow-up committee of Oman Olympic Committee should clear these plans by the sports associations also,” he added.

Private sector support

A strategic partnership with the private sector entities will be important to achieve the dream of the capturing the first historical Olympic medal. Kadhim raised this suggestion and explained: “Olympic medal is a national project which requires full support from government as well as from the private companies. Many private companies in other countries are supporting their talented athletes’ preparatory plans for the Olympics. I believe this step will be crucial and will support the country to achieve the first Olympic medal.”

Commenting on Oman’s participation at the 2018 Asian Games in Indonesia, Kadhim stressed that Omani athletes performed reasonably well considering the less period of preparation.

“Oman hockey team finished among the top six teams in Asia while sailing team was very close to snatch the bronze medal. The beach volleyball team reached the quarterfinal stage for the first time. Looking at these results, we can understand that implementing a strategic and long-term plan will help us win the medals,” the Sultanate’s experienced sports chef de mission concluded.