Suleimani qualifies for Youth Olympic Games in Argentina
Oman's 18 year old talented athlete Mohammed al Suleimani did the sultanate proud on Wednesday when he achieved the qualification mark for the third 2018 Summer Youth Olympic Games (YOG), to be held in Buenos Aires, Argentina, from October 6-18.
The Nizwa lad achieved the qualification by picking a silver medal at the YOG Asian Area Qualification meet in Bangkok, Thailand in the 2,000m steeplechase event.
Suleimani clocked a new Oman record time of 5m:55.91s to better his own record of 5m:57.00s, achieved at the Arab Youth Athletics
Championships in Tunisia in November last.
China's Maier Dan Jiang Aili won the race in 5m:52.69 to also qualify for the YOG.
Coached by Laid Toutache of Algeria, Suleimani is a graduate from Youth Training Centre programme run by the Ministry of Sports Affairs.
Following his silver medal finish in the 3,000m steeplechase at the GCC U19 Athletics Championships in April in Kuwait, the silver on Wednesday with a new record ensured Suleimani's direct qualification for the YOG as the Bangkok meet offered two direct berths for the top two finishers.
Suleimani will be the second Omani to take part in the YOG, after an Omani sailor was confirmed last month, thanks to a wildcard provided in the Men’s Windsurfing Techno 293+ class. Oman Sail is yet to announce the sailor’s name.
World Sailing, yacht racing’s global governing body, announced in June that Oman was awarded a special ‘universality place’ in recognition of the youth team’s impressive performances at international qualifying regattas since 2016.
Oman has been part of the YOG since the inaugural edition in 2010 in Singapore when rider Sultan al Tooqi brought laurels for the sultanate with a silver medal in the equestrian team jumping event. Shnoona al Habsi had also participated in the 100m girls' event in 2010.
In 2014 Summer Youth Olympics, held in Nanjing, China, Oman was represented by Mazoon al Alawi in the girls' 100m while the pair of Samie al Hammadi and Ahid al Shahi took part in beach volleyball as a wild card entry.