Tokyo: Oman’s delegation participated in the opening ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games on Friday at the National Olympic Stadium.
Oman’s promising swimmer, Issa Al Adawi, expressed his gladness at being the flag bearer of the Oman contingent during the march past at the opening ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
“It is a historic moment for any athlete to carry the national flag. These moments will remain in my sporting memory forever. I am proud of myself over this debut presence in Tokyo 2020 and will do my level best to deliver top technical performance,” he said.
Japanese Emperor Naruhito announced the opening of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics in the presence of top delegates, including top dignitaries, officials from the Japanese government and the International Olympic Committee (IOC), and representative from each National Olympic Committee (NOC). The opening ceremony, which lasted for four hours, highlighted the history and culture of Japan. Japan’s tennis player Naomi Osaka lit the Olympic cauldron to mark the start of Tokyo 2020.
Issa in third heat
The national swimmer Issa Al Adawi will compete in the third heat during Men’s 100m freestyle competition. He will be in the seventh line in the Olympic swimming pool at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre. The 22-year-old will kick off the Sultanate’s campaign in Tokyo 2020 as the first athlete on Tuesday.
Besides Issa, the heat 3 will feature swimmers: Miguel Mena (NCA), Jean-Luczephir (Lca), Yousuf Al Matrooshi (UAE), Stefano Mitchell (ANT), Andrew Chetcuti (MNT), Kledi Kadiu (Alb) and Danilo Rosafio (Ken).
There are nine heats in the preliminary qualifiers, after which 16 swimmers will advance to semis in the following days. The finals will take place on Thursday where the medals will be delivered to the top three winners. The domestic swimming star will seek to confirm his top show in competing with other opponents from different part of the world.
Coach Ayman arrives
The Sultanate’s head swimming coach, Ayman Al Kulaibi, arrived in Tokyo on Friday. He joined the swimming team and began supervision of Issa’s training in the training pool at Tokyo International Aquatics Centre. The local coach and Japanese coach Kenta will direct swimmer Issa during the daily training sessions until commencement of the competitions.
National coch Ayman said that attendance in the Olympic Games is a great opportunity for everyone. “As a coach I will try to gain the required experience from this global sporting event. From this participation at Olympic Games, we are working to enhance the technical performance and shape the swimmer to compete in the regional and international levels,” he added.
Commenting on Issa’s performance during the last few years, the former Sultanate’s swimmer champion responded,“Issa has strength and technical points which will assist him easily to reach the standard and international level. Moreover, reaching to the top technical level needs sustainability and continuity in training and having the right exposure at regional and international championships. I hope we can have all these facilities that will help us to develop our swimmers’ performance.”
Dr Mohamed bin Said bin Khalifa Al Busaidi, the Sultanate’s Ambassador to Japan, affirmed that the Sultanate’s participation in this significant sporting forum of the Summer Olympics “Tokyo 2020”, confirms the Sultanate’s commitment and presence in various international forums, as Oman is an important member of the international community.
The Ambassador pointed out that Omani sports has witnessed great developments during the modern Omani renaissance under the leadership of the late His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said bin Taimour- may God rest his soul - and that sports and youth sectors in the Sultanate continue to develop and receive the highest attention and care under the leadership of His Majesty Sultan Haitham Bin Tarik - may God protect him.
He indicated that the future is looking confident and bright for Omani youth and sports, especially with the diversity of plans and strategies that have been developed in this framework and in line with the directions of Oman Vision 2040.
The Sultanate’s ambassador to Japan conveyed his greetings to all members of the delegation and athletes at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, adding that he and all members of the Embassy of the Sultanate of Oman in Tokyo are very proud to see representatives of Omani sports competing in the most important international sporting event, wishing them all a successful participation and hoping that they succeed in achieving advanced and honourable results for the Sultanate.
Oman has many enthusiastic friends in Japan including the Japan-Oman Society, the Japan-Oman Club in Tokyo, the Japan-Oman Friendship Association in Hiroshima and the Japan-Oman Friendship Association in Nara who are all looking forward to cheering Team Oman and were actually ready to receive them and support them during this great sporting event, but couldn’t due to COVID-19 restrictions and the counter measures to prevent the spread of the virus.
He concluded that “we fully understand and respect the strict counter measures in place and all our Japanese friends will continue to support Team Oman even if they cannot attend in person.”
The Ambassador explained that Japan is a unique country in all fields, including sports, as Japanese are considered among the top most competitive countries in various individual and team sports.
They are never defeated as they have the aspiration and determination to achieve their goals, and the Japanese public always stands united by their teams whatever the outcome. The Japanese people will unconditionally continue to support and believe in their teams until they achieve victory in the end.
He added, “Likewise all of Oman will continue to support our teams and the Omani athletes participating in this important sporting event.”
The Ambassador concluded his statement that next year will be an important year for Oman-Japan relations, as it will mark 50 years of modern diplomatic relations between the two nations.
He explained that the historical relations between the two countries actually extend to over 400 years, demonstrating the strength and commitment of our relations, and that we continue to seek to grow and expand it even further.