Muscat: With more than 300 men and women players expected to descend down to Salalah next month, Oman is all set to host the tenth edition of the Arab Seniors Tennis Championship from September 4-9.
The Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex in Al Saada in Salalah will be the venue of the tournament that is expected to generate lot of benefits to the Sultanate.
The ‘Tennis Festival’ featuring players from the age of 30-75 years is being held under the auspices of the Arab Seniors Sports Federation and jointly organised by Al Nasr Club, Salalah and the Oman Tennis Association (OTA). The championship is supported by the Directorate General of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Youth (MCSY) and Oman Olympic Committee (OOC).
On Tuesday, Ahmed al Saeedi, the chairman of the local organising committee, provided the details of the championship at a press conference held at the OOC headquarters in Muscat. Saeedi said that ‘it was a matter of great pride for Oman to host the tenth edition of the championship and hoped that the championship will go a long way in showcasing the country’s potential to host big tournaments.’
Salman al Balushi, the vice-chairman of the local organising committee, said “We are delighted to host the championship for the second time, with Muscat hosting the seventh edition in January, 2020.”
Saeedi said, “There would be five disciples in different age-group categories with gold medals at stake in men’s (singles and doubles), women’s (singles and doubles) and mixed doubles. “The field is going to be strong as we have players from the age of 30 eligible to take part in the championship. We expect a contingent of 20-25 players from Oman to participate in various age-group categories.”
Saeedi, who is also the vice-chairman of the Arab Seniors Sports Federation, was confident that the weather conditions in Salalah will be a major attraction for the competitors.
Among the players expected to take part are former national champions and experienced veterans, who continue to pursue their interest in the game of tennis. “Salalah during the Khareef season provides a perfect backdrop for seniors, who would like to also explore the natural beauty of the Dhofar Governorate,” said Saeedi.
With more that 300 players already registered, Saeedi is hopeful that more would confirm their participation with the last date of entry to be August 16. Plans are also afoot to hold an exhibition games between former stars of the region that would include matches featuring Kuwait’s Mohammed Abdul-Ridha Ghareeb and Oman’s Fatima al Nabhani.
Balushi said the age categories for men will be for 30-39 years, 40-49 years, 50-59 years, 60-64 years and above 65 years while for women it would be for age-group between 30-44 years, 44-54 years
and above 55 years.
Balushi said that arrangements are being made to organise local tours for the participants and ensure smooth success of the championship.
Also present at the press conference was Salim al Habsi, managing director of Zawaya, an Omani events and marketing company.