Oman’s Mashaykhi on top of the world
In a first-of-its-kind achievement, an Omani sportsperson has climbed to the summit after 27 year old paralympian, Mohammed al Mashaykhi, was ranked No 1 in the world at the year-end ranking, released by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC).
Mashaykhi ascended to the top of the world in the shot put F32 class.
This is the first-ever instance for an Omani athlete to be ranked No 1 in the world and Mashaykhi was delighted to have achieved it.
In his remarks to Muscat Daily , Mashaykhi said, “I am very happy and proud to represent Oman in the world. I wish I can continue to bring more laurels with the support of all in the future.”
The World Para Athletics Rankings 2018 was announced on the IP official website on Friday with Mashaykhi achieving the milestone among the 23-ranked athletes.
His throw of 10.37m was the best of the year and was recorded during a meet in Tunis in Tunisia on June 24. Algeria’s Mohammed Nadjib Amchi and Iran’s Younes Seifipour were ranked second and third best.
Besides Mashaykhi, his countrymate, Mohammed al Qasmi was ranked 12th in the world with a best throw of 7.26m at the Asian Paralympic Games in October in Jakarta, Indonesia.
Mashaykhi was also ranked world No 4 in club throw F32 class. Poland’s Maciej Sochal was ranked No 1 with a best distance of 35.34m. Mashaykhi’s best this year has been 30.54m in August at Sant Cugt in Spain.
Qasmi is ranked No 13 (24.33m) in this event among 27 parathletes.
Speaking to Muscat Daily , Dr Mansoor al Tauqi, the Oman Paralympic Committee chairman said, “It is a fruit of a long journey and we are proud of what Mashaykhi has achieved. To be the No 1 in the world for an Omani is a tremendous feat. It is now time for him to be properly nurtured as he is now in a different league. He should be treated as a professional athlete and I urge the Ministry of Sports Affairs to provide him with all the support for him to excel at the top. We now hope that he brings a medal at 2019 worlds in Dubai and then prepare him for the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics.”
Mashaykhi picked up the sport in 2010 and has been groomed by Tunisian coach Sonia Hussein since 2015.
He took the world by storm in 2017 when he picked a silver at the World Para Athletics Championships in the shot put F32 event with a throw of 10.49m. On his way to the silver medal, the Omani had broken the world record only to be broken later at the same event by the gold medal winner, Algeria’s Lahouari Bahlaz, with a distance of 11.08m.
He missed a medal-double at the worlds as he finished fourth in the club throw F32 class at the same meet with a distance of 28.58m.
Earlier in 2016, Mashaykhi had qualified for the Rio Paralympics.
Following his exploits at the worlds, Mashaykhi brought glory for Oman at the third Asian Para Games, held in Jakarta, Indonesia from October 6-13 when he picked a gold in his favourite F32 event with a throw of 8.92m. He got his second medal when he grabbed a silver in the club throw F32 event with a throw of 29.11m.
Earlier in August, Mashaykhi was impressive at the 2018 CPISRA World Games, in Sant Cugat, Spain, in August, where he clinched three medals including a gold and two silver.
Organised by the Cerebral Palsy International Sports and Recreation Association (CPISRA), the Omani had won gold in the shot put F32 (2kg) category, a silver in the F32 (1kg) discus event and a silver in the club throw F32 event.
The talented athlete had also won a gold and a silver at the tenth Fazza International Athletics Championship held in March in UAE. On the future plans, Dr Tauqi said, “The immediate plans are to shift him from Jalaan to Muscat for better training.
“We need to take extra care of an athlete who is world’s best. We also plan to field him in Grand Prix series organised by the IPC early next year to help him prepare for the worlds in Dubai (November 7-15).”