Oman in tough group at Asian meet in Tehran

September 05, 2019

A file photo of Oman spikers in action against Jordan during an international friendly in Muscat

Oman spikers hope to make an impact at the forthcoming 20th edition of the Asian Senior Men's Volleyball Championship, which will be held in Tehran, Iran, from September 13-21.

The national team, coached by Rashid al Miqbali, is currently having a preparatory camp in Egypt and has played three warm-up games against strong club teams like Zamalek.

The team will return to Muscat on September 8 and then leave for Iran three days later.

Prior to the overseas camp, the team also held a domestic camp and coach Miqbali hopes his wards can make an impression in Tehran. Miqbali is accompanied by Shakhboot al Jabri, a former Sohar Club coach, as his assistant.

Oman is placed in a tough Pool C that comprises former three-time champions China, last edition’s runner-up Kazakhstan and India.

The top-16 teams from Asia and Oceania will compete for the top honours with Oman making it to the finals as one of the two teams to advance after the Western Asia qualifiers were hosted in Muscat in July.

The Tehran championship will also serve as the Tokyo 2020 Asian Olympic qualification tournament with the top-eight teams making it to the Olympic qualifiers. Oman is one of the unseeded teams at the 2019 Asian championship.

The sultanate side made its debut in the Asian championship in Dubai in 2013 and then took part in 2015. Oman had finished 19th among 21 teams in Dubai and ended 15th among the 16 participating nations in the 2015 meet in Tehran.  It failed to qualify for the 2017 edition before qualifying for this year's championship along with Kuwait.

In Tehran, Pool A comprises hosts Iran, Australia, Qatar and Sri Lanka while Pool B consists of defending champion and nine-time winner Japan, Chinese Taipei, Thailand and Hong Kong. Pool D has South Korea, Indonesia, Kuwait and Pakistan.

Oman begins its campaign on September 13 with a match against China followed by matches against Kazakhstan (Sept 14) and India (Sept 15).

Oman squad: Saud al Mamari, Hilal al Miqbali, Younus al Amri, Falah al Jaradi, Majid al Shizawi, Ismail al Heidi, Ibrahim al Muzaini, Adam al Jalboobi, Ahmed al Shizawi, Yousuf al Shukaili, Ali al Miqbali, Khalid al Miqbali.