Sailing: Omani sailor completes landmark Youth Olympic Games

Sports Sunday 14/October/2018 14:11 PM
By: Times News Service
Sailing: Omani sailor completes landmark Youth Olympic Games

MUSCAT: Oman Sail is celebrating as their landmark participation in the Youth Olympic Games came to a conclusion in Argentina.
Mohammed Al Balushi was the first Omani sailor ever to represent the Sultanate in the Youth Olympics when he raced in the Techno 293+ windsurfer class at the games in Buenos Aires.
Competing against young sailors from 23 other nations in the high-quality international event, the 15 year-old achieved several impressive mid-fleet finishes and set down a marker for the future.
Oman Sail coaches were delighted with Al Balushi’s overall performance, which included coping with variable and challenging wind conditions at the Club Nautico San Isidro sailing venue while gaining invaluable experience.
“The Youth Olympic Games is a positive and highly significant step forward. Mohammed has made Oman Sail and indeed the whole country proud,” said Rashid Al Kindi, Sailing Development Manager “He has shown great maturity and dedication, and has been a fantastic representative for the Sultanate.”
Al Balushi joined Oman Sail’s windsurf youth programme in 2014 and progressed to representing the Sultanate at international sailing events in 2017 and again this year before earning his selection for Buenos Aires.
Oman’s landmark sailing participation in the Youth Olympic Games came after yacht racing’s global governing body, World Sailing, awarded the Sultanate a ‘universality place’ for impressive performances by the Oman Sail youth team since 2016.
Windsurfing National Coach Sultan Al Balushi, said: “As one of the youngest sailors racing in the windsurfing fleet we knew that Mohammed would face a stern test. However, he has demonstrated his determination and character, and his 12th place in the very first race showed that he has the skills to compete at the highest level.
“Overall, the priceless experience he has gained by taking part in the Youth Olympic Games counts for much more than his final finishing place. There is no substitute for actually sailing and racing at this level.”
Al Balushi finished in 21st place in the Techno 293+ windsurfer class after competing in 10 races.