Omani sailors make history

MUSCAT: Two young Omani sailors have made history by both winning medals at the high-profile Asian Laser Championship in Singapore. Laser 4.7 racers Abdulmalik al Hinai and Al Moatasem al Farsi each delivered multi-race winning performances at the international regatta on their way to taking silver and bronze medals respectively in what is Oman Sail’s most successful regatta to date at this level. In fact Al Hinai came within an ace of winning gold at the regional championship, finishing on the same points as overall winner Jonathan Lio from Singapore, and only losing the top spot on the countback scoring system used to resolve tied results.

Al Hinai won three races and posted podium finishes in six others in the 14-race event, while Al Farsi was also victorious in three races on his way to third place overall. “This is a big day for Abdulmalik, Al Moatasem, Oman Sail and the country as a whole,” said Rashid al Kindi, Oman Sail’s national team manager and chairman of the Oman Sailing Committee. “This is our most successful ever result of its kind and a great achievement at this level,” he added. “We are very proud of what they have achieved which is a direct result of their hard work and the dedication and commitment of the Oman Sail coaches who have supported them and developed their abilities.”

Both youngsters achieved their success racing against talented and competitive sailors from countries including Thailand, China and Hong Kong at Singapore’s National Sailing Centre from March 2-9, and proudly displayed Oman’s national flag on the podium at the prize-giving ceremony. They were welcomed back home at Muscat International Airport by their parents, coaches and sailing school managers. Mohsin al Busaidy, who was on-site during the event as Oman Sail’s Youth Programme Manager, said: “We are delighted to be able to celebrate Abdulmalik and Al Moatasem’s success, they both thoroughly deserve it after all the hard work they have put in. The whole Oman Sail team was focussed on achieving a really great result at the championships, and it is rewarding to know that all the preparation we put in has born fruit and that we have been able to reach our goal by winning two medals.”