Asian Open Laser Championships: Omani sailors pick 2 medals
In a major boost to Oman Sailing, two young sailors came up with the sultanate's best-ever performance at the Asian level as they claimed silver and bronze medals in the same event at the inaugural Asian Open Laser Championships that concluded at the National Sailing Centre in Singapore on Saturday.
While Abdulmalik al Hinai missed gold by a close margin, Al Moatasem al Farsi ensured Oman a bronze in the Laser 4.7 competition.
Singapore sailor Jonathan Lio won the gold. Lio entered the final day of racing on Saturday at the top of the fleet with a nine-point lead over Abdulmalik, and sealed the victory with 33 nett points while the Omani had 38. Al Moatasem was a distant third with 68 among 20 sailors.
Abdulmalik won three races and posted podium finishes in six in the 14-race event, while Al Moatasem also won three races.
Rashid al Kindi, Oman Sail’s national team manager and chairman of the Oman Sailing Committee, said “This is a big and proud achievement for Abdulmalik, Al Moatasem, Oman Sail and the country. This is our most successful-ever result for Oman sailors at this level.”
“We are proud of the duo's feat, which is a result of their hard work and the dedication and commitment of their coaches.”
The boys and the accompanying coaches were given a warm welcome at the Muscat International Airport on Sunday.
Mohsin al Busaidi, Oman Sail’s youth programme manager, said, “Both the sailors thoroughly deserve the medals after all their efforts.”
Nearly 64 sailors from 15 countries participated in the regatta, previously called the Asia Pacific Laser Championship.
Two years ago, the International Laser Class Association (ILCA) decided that Asia was ready for its own regatta and that Oceania would hold its own.