Omani sailors have come away from the 2018 Asian Games with their heads held high after highly competitive performances.
The Oman Sail team at the Indonesian event were represented in the men’s two-handed 49er and mixed Open Laser 4.7 classes, with the 49er duo of Musab Al Hadi and Waleed Al Kindi posting Oman’s best performance since 2010.
With the gold medal place already secured by the Japanese team, the two went into the deciding final race in second place overall. They crossed the line in fourth just behind South Korea, who edged ahead by just half a point to take the silver medal place.
More significantly, however, the race was won by the India team who finished the regatta exactly level on 43 points with Oman, but took the final podium bronze medal place on the countback system which decides ties.
The Oman Sail team won three races and claimed six other podium finishes from the 15 races sailed at the Jakarta regatta.
“We are of course very disappointed not to have won a medal here, which would have been Oman’s first at the Asian Games since 2010, by such a close margin,” said Al Hadi.
“But we sailed well and were competitive against the best 49er sailors in the region. We will build on our strengths and learn from our mistakes, and we will come back stronger,” he added.
Meanwhile Abdulmalik Al Hinai took a top-10 finish in the Laser 4.7 class, claiming three podium places on his way to ninth overall in a competitive 23-boat fleet.
The 15 year-old from Oman Sail’s Al Mouj Muscat sailing school and the Omantel Youth Sailing Programme, can now add his Asian Games result to a strong performance at July’s Laser 4.7 Youth World Championships in Poland.
“The Oman Sail team at the Asian Games are rightly entitled to feel proud of their performances, which is a reflection of their skills and abilities as well as the dedication of their coaches,” said Rashid Al Kindi, National Teams Manager.
“They have come a long way in a short period of time, and there is a growing sense of confidence within the whole Oman Sail team that suggests there is a lot more to come.”
Earlier in the season the 49er team showed they were a force to be reckoned with at the 2018 European Championships in Poland when they became the first all-Omani 49er team to qualify in a Silver fleet for the final stages of a regatta.