Muscat: As expected the annual Independence Day of India Hockey Festival proved a grand success with Team Coorg and Indian School Al Seeb taking top honours at the iconic Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex on Friday evening.
The 2017 edition of the annual hockey fiesta, organised by the Friends of Naqvi Group and Team Coorg under the patronage of Embassy of India and with the support of Oman Hockey Association, turned out to be a memorable affair with FIH chief Narinder Batra and AHF CEO ‘Dato’ Tayyab Ikram sending a special congratulatory message and the organisers themselves inviting some special guests associated with Omani and Indian sports.
While the day’s proceedings included a number of cultural evens, the highlights obviously were two hockey tournaments - the Independence Day Cup and Ambassador’s Cup.
The Independence Day Cup witnessed some fierce competition among the participating teams. The tournament culminated in a thrilling final where Team Coorg Muscat overcame Oman Veterans in a 1-0 victory to lift the coveted trophy.
Team Coorg UAE, who have been regularly participating in the Festival, earlier settled for the third place.
The Indian School Al Seeb team, meanwhile, produced some exciting hockey before lifting the Ambassador’s Cup.
The Indian School Al Seeb and Indian School Mabella teams played a women’s hockey exhibition game.
Chief guest Sushma Pandey, wife of Indian Ambassador Indramani Pandey, presided over the proceedings and handed over the prizes.
The organisers also honoured the special invitees from India - Hockey India associate vice-president and Madhaya Bharat Hockey Association chief Devender Pratap Singh Tomar and Madhya Bharat Hockey Association secretary Niranjan Singh Gurjar.
Oman Cancer Association chief Dr. Wahid Al Kharusi, who previously served as the president of Asian Federation of Sports Medicine, Oman Hockey Association chairman Talib Khamis Al Wahaibi, Indian Social Club chief Dr. Satish Nambiar, Ahli-Sidab Club vice-chairman Yasser Abdullah Al Halwani and Oman Hockey Veterans team member Mustafa Al Lawati were guests of honour on the occasion.
Mustafa Al Lawati, on behalf of Oman Hockey Veterans Committee, presented Monalisa coupons worth OMR. 100 to the schools teams and he also presented traditional Omani ‘khanjars’ to organisers Belu Kuttappa, Javis Ahmed, Osama Rawat and SAS Naqvi.
As in the past, the organisers also presented the youth awards to the talented youngsters of the Indian community and this year the awards went to talented tennis and table tennis player Sanskar Dubey and athlete Antonio Thomas Biju.
The Festival was mainly sponsored by the Future Group which consists of Future Plastics, Future Management, Muscat Services, Quality Printers, Femco and Future Overseas
The event was co-sponsored by Khimji Ramdas, Bank Muscat, Roca, Raha Poly Products, Oman United Insurance, Al Omaniya Financial Services, Mohammed Rafeeq & Partner, Al Ansari Group, Monalisa, Team Coorg Muscat, Pocari Sweat and Oasis Water.