Oman beach spikers bag gold
The pleasant weather and home fans to cheer provided a perfect mix for the Oman teams to lift their level for gold and a bronze medal at the 28th Arab Beach Volleyball Championship, which concluded in Salalah on Friday evening.
And adding to the double-delight was the bronze-medal effort by the Oman junior team in the inaugural edition of the Arab youth championship, which was played alongside the Arab men’s championship.
The Oman A pair of Ahmed al Hosni and Haitham al Shuraiqi emerged champion as the duo defeated the Qatari pair of Zeyad al Waer and Saifadin al Majeed 2-0 in the summit clash for Oman's second successive gold at the championship.
It may be recalled that Oman's pair of Nouh al Jalboobi and Mazin al Hashmi had won the gold at the last edition in Agadir, Morocco. It is the first time in recent years that Oman has managed to retain its title at the Arab championship.
For Hosni and Shuraiqi, the title was even sweeter as the duo had lost twice in a row in the final (2016- 2017) in the Moroccan city of El Jadida and Muscat respectively.
At the last edition, Hosni and Shuraiqi had claimed a bronze but on Friday, they produced an impressive allround display to claim the trophy.
The other Oman team of Jalboobi and Hashmi claimed the bronze as the defending champion defeated the Bahraini pair of Ali Marhoon and Mohammed Yaqoub 2-1.
Incidentally, Jalboobi and Hashmi had also defeated the Bahraini duo for the gold in Agadir.
With the back to back title victories, Oman seems to have re-established its superiority at the Arab level, where it dominated prior to 2011, when it had captured a total of eight titles.
Prior to last year's title in Morocco, Qatar teams ruled the roost between 2012-2017.
Impressive show by Bahrain youth teams
Meanwhile, the Bahrain youth beach spikers captured the gold and silver medal in the first Arab Youth Beach Volleyball Championship in Salalah on Friday.
Bahrain B team, comprising Mujtaba Hasan Ahakhuri and Sayed Ameen Mustafa, was crowned champion while the A team of Hassan Nasser and Ali Alaiwi won the silver.
Oman's Majid al Shibli and Mutassim al Harthy bagged the bronze in a tournament that was played on round-robin format involving seven teams from Oman, Bahrain, Yemen and Saudi Arabia.
Mujtaba and Sayed won all six of their matches to finish the competition with a maximum 12 points. Hassan and Ali, won five as they ended the event with 11 points.
Oman duo claimed the bronze with ten points from four wins.
On the final day of the championship, Bahrain B beat Oman 2-1 before signing off with a 2-1 victory over Yemen. Bahrain A beat Yemen 2-1 and followed up with a 2-0 win over Oman on Friday.
Later, Sayyid Khalid al Busaidi, the Oman Olympic Committee (OOC) chairman, presented the trophies to the teams in the presence of the Oman Volleyball Association chief, Sheikh Bader al Rowas, and other officials.
Sheikh Rowas said, “The gold and bronze medals are a result of the teams' continuous hardwork. Our teams defended their title and it shows that we are on the right path. I congratulate the youth team for winning the bronze. I see a good future for our beach volleyball teams.”