Oman’s hockey heroes felicitated

Sports Tuesday 28/May/2024 21:01 PM
By: Times News Service
Oman’s hockey heroes felicitated

Muscat: Nearly four months have passed since the historic podium finish of Oman’s men’s hockey team at the inaugural FIH Men’s Hockey5s World Cup, successfully staged in Muscat from January 24-31.

The bronze medal triumph, the first-ever for Oman at a World Cup, under coach Siegfried Aikman, marked a glorious moment in the Sultanate’s sporting history.

On Monday night, the Oman hockey heroes were felicitated by the Oman Hockey Association (OHA) at a glittering ceremony held at Sheraton Oman Hotel.

The chief guest, His Highness Sayyid Marwan bin Turki Al Said, Governor of Dhofar Governorate, along with FIH (International Hockey Federation) president Tayyab Ikram, Oman Olympic Committee (OOC) chairman Khalid Al Zubair, and other top dignitaries attended the event.

Oman edged past Poland 3-2 in a bronze-medal playoff at Hockey Oman Arena in Al Amerat, securing their maiden podium finish in any Olympic sport event at a world-class event. The Netherlands overcame Malaysia 5-2 to lift the trophy.

The gala awards ceremony was a fitting tribute to the national heroes and also an occasion to celebrate OHA’s success in hosting the inaugural men’s and women’s FIH Hockey5s World Cup, which featured 32 teams from around the world.

The World Cup was hosted at the newly-built, state-of-the-art Hockey Oman Arena in Al Amerat, and a venue likely to host many international tournaments in the future.

FIH chief praises Oman
Addressing the gathering, FIH chief Ikram praised Oman’s organisational abilities in hosting the inaugural FIH Hockey5s World Cup for men and women.

He said, “Oman has been exceptional in promoting hockey, and the way they staged the FIH event and the Paris Olympics Qualifiers is a testimony to their passion and commitment to the sport. I thank the government of Oman under the wise leadership of His Majesty Sultan Haitham bin Tarik, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Youth under His Highness Sayyid Theyazin bin Haitham Al Said, Oman Olympic Committee Chairman Khalid Al Zubair, and Oman Hockey Association chief Dr. Marwan Al Juma for their strong support to hockey.”

Ikram continued, “The Hockey Oman Arena is a wonderful example of infrastructure and a perfect venue for future world-class tournaments. The way Oman organised the Hockey5s World Cup was amazing."

“To have 32 teams from 29 nations is a first-of-its-kind event, and every team that participated praised Oman for their hospitality and organisation.”

Later, His Highness Sayyid Marwan bin Turki Al Said honoured the bronze-medal-winning players, various ministries, government agencies, tournament sponsors, volunteers, media, including Times of Oman, for their contributions to the event’s success.

In his address, Dr. Marwan Al Juma, OHA chairman, said: “Hosting the FIH Hockey5s World Cup was a moment of pride for Oman and will go down in history as the inaugural hosts. The event brought significant attention to Oman in the hockey world, and we are delighted that the FIH is extremely satisfied with our hosting.”

He added, “The new Hockey Oman Arena is a legacy, and we hope to make maximum use of the infrastructure by hosting world-class events. We will also develop the domestic hockey structure with the help of these top-class facilities in Al Amerat.”

Al Juma highlighted the exposure gained by Omani officials and the involvement of many young Omanis in the game. He thanked the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Youth, under the leadership of His Highness Theyazin bin Haitham Al Said, and Basil bin Ahmed Al Rawas, Undersecretary at the sports ministry, for their guidance and support in ensuring the tournament’s success.