Oman beach spikers win gold at Arab meet
It was a case of being third time lucky as Oman's team of Nouh al Jalboobi and Mazin al Hashmi picked gold at the 27th Arab Beach Volleyball Championship in Agadir, Morocco, on Sunday after sultanate team lost in the final on two previous occasions.
In fact, Nouh and Hashmi had lost in a bronze-medal playoff at the last edition that was held in Muscat while their teammates, Haitham al Shuraiqi and Ahmed al Hosni had bagged a silver.
Earlier in 2016, during the 25th edition, which was held in El Jadida, Morocco, Shuraiqi and Hosni had also lost in the final.
On Sunday, Oman picked two medals in Agadir with the Oman A duo of Ahmed al Hosni and Hood al Jalboobi starting the day positively with a 2-0 win over Bahrain's Ayman Haroona and Nasser Anan. Hosni and Hood claimed the medal with a convincing 21-11, 21-16 victory.
The final was also a clash between Oman and Bahrain as Oman B pair of Nooh and Hashmi took on the duo of Ali Marhoon and Mohammed Yaqoub. In a thrilling contest, that went into three sets, Nooh and Hashmi rallied from a tight opening-set loss 20-22 to edge past their experienced rivals, winning the next two 21-18, 15-11.
A delighted Hashmi said, “I would like to thank the OVA board for their support and their trust in us. We are happy with our performances and to win two medals is a big achievement.”
Oman teams featured the Jalboobi siblings, Nooh and Hood, playing in each of the side. Nooh praised Hashmi's role and attributed the success to teamwork and hard work. “We had a good support and able guidance from our coach Khalifa al Jabri. There were ideal conditions for training that helped us achieve the glory. We look forward to bringing more medals and I hope we can be on the podium at the 18th Asian Games in Jakarta-Palembang later this month.”
Oman had been a powerhouse prior to 2011 at the Arab meets. It had won a total of eight titles before its dominance was halted by Qatar. Prior to Sunday, the last Oman title came in 2011.
The latest achievement of Oman beach spikers was lauded by the Oman Volleyball Association (OVA) with its chief congratulating the spikers and the coaching staff. Sheikh Bader al Rowas, the OVA chief, told
Muscat Daily, “The gold and bronze medals are a result of the team's continuous hard-work. Our young teams have a long way to go to achieve at Asian or world level but and I am happy that we are on the right path with a team of young players.”
Amour al Touqi, the OVA secretary, said, “We are proud that among the medallists was 19 year old Hood, who made his debut at the meet. It heralds a bright future for Oman volleyball. The teams prepared well for the championship with a camp in Spain ahead of the event.”.