Al Kindi breaks Arab record as Oman athletes excel in Egypt

Sports Wednesday 10/July/2024 19:01 PM
By: Ashok Purohit
Al Kindi breaks Arab record as Oman athletes excel in Egypt

MUSCAT: The future of Oman athletics looks exceptionally bright following the stellar performances by the youth team at the second Arab Athletics Championship U23 in Egypt, which concluded on Tuesday. Oman athletes returned home with a rich haul of four medals, including three gold and one bronze.

Mubeen Al Kindi set a new Arab record and bettered his own national record in the hammer throw with a distance of 67.46 metres.

Meanwhile, Oman’s star sprinter, Ali Anwar Al Balushi, set the tracks ablaze in the Egyptian city of Ismailia, claiming a ‘golden double’ with his second title at the highly competitive meet.

On the opening day of the meet, Al Balushi won the 100m gold in 10 seconds (an unofficial record due to wind assistance of +2.6 m/s). He finished the championship in style with another superb run, winning the 200m in 20.68 seconds.

Al Balushi’s teammate, Hamzah Al Jabri, narrowly missed the podium, finishing fourth with a time of 21.30 seconds. Lebanon’s Tamer Saleh won the silver (21.01), and Kuwait’s Yaqub Al Aazme claimed the bronze (21.26). The two gold medals will provide Al Balushi with a significant boost ahead of his participation in the Paris Olympics, beginning on July 26.

Al Balushi is the only Omani athlete to have qualified for the Games based on his world rankings. The Oman Olympic Committee (OOC) is yet to announce the other athletes who will participate in the 2024 Paris Games.

Another talented athlete, Mubeen Al Kindi, has been steadily making progress, and his latest display is commendable. The 21-year-old broke the existing Arab U23 hammer throw record with a distance of 67.46 metres, surpassing the previous record of 63.15m set by Saudi Arabia’s Muhammad Al-Zayer in Tunisia during the first Arab U23 Athletics Championship last year.

Under the guidance of his long-term coach, Said Al Harthy, Al Kindi has constantly improved his distance. In January 2023, he threw 59.10m at a domestic meet, progressing to 59.70m at the first Arab U23 meet in Tunisia in May 2023. 

He surpassed the 60m mark at the start of the year with a throw of 64.43m in February and then achieved 64.95m at the West Asian Championships in Basra, Iraq, in May. In Ismailia, the next best to Al Kindi was Egypt’s Basel Mohamed with 65.63m while Saudi Arabia’s Muhammad Al Zayer came third with 62.82m.

Al Kindi expressed his joy from Egypt on breaking the Arab record. Speaking to Times of Oman before boarding the flight to Muscat: “I am very happy that I could continue to improve my distance, and breaking the Arab and my national record was the icing on the cake.”

The fourth medal, a bronze, was won by Husain Al Farsi in the 800m race, clocking 1:52.34 to finish behind Algeria’s Hiethm Shnetf (1:51.61) and Morocco’s El Assal Abderrahman (1:51.98).

OAA congratulates winners

In his remarks to Times of Oman, As’ad Al Hosni, Oman Athletics Association (OAA) general secretary said: “We are proud of our young athletes. They bring a lot of hope to us and with proper guidance, they have the potential to excel at a bigger stage. We congratulate Ali Anwar Al Balushi, Mubeen Al Kindi and Husain Al Farsi for bringing laurels for the country and hope Ali will make us proud at the upcoming Paris Olympics.”

The four-day Arab U23 championship witnessed the participation of 217 male and female athletes from 12 countries: Tunisia, Algeria, Oman, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Iraq, Qatar, Kuwait, Morocco, Yemen, and Egypt.