Buenos Aires, Oman Sail’s first ever representative

at a Youth Olympic Games has started his racing campaign at the

high-profile international event in Argentina.

Mohammed Al Balushi is representing the Sultanate in the Techno

293+ windsurfer class and competing against young sailors from 23

other nations over several days of close competition.

In the opening race in Buenos Aires yesterday (October 7th) the

ground-breaking Omani youngster posted a strong 12th place finish in

what is a highly competitive fleet.

Aged 15, Al Balushi is the second youngest windsurfer taking part,

and is racing against sailors up to three years older in a class where

experience, sheer size and physicality can play an important role.

His selection for the Youth Olympic Games followed an in-depth

selection process this year which saw Oman Sail youth squad sailors

race at Asian, European and World championships. Al Balushi went to

the sailing venue at the Club Nautico San Isidro in Buenos Aires after

detailed preparation and training sessions with Oman Sail coaches.

Mohammed’s place at the Youth Olympic Games is a just reflection

of all the hard work he has put in to earning his place, and also of the

dedication and skill of the whole Oman Sail team who have created the

training and structure to make it all possible, said Rashid al-Kindi,

National Sailing Team Manager.

Born in 2003, Al Balushi joined the windsurf youth programme in

2014 and worked his way up to team selection for world and European

championships in 2017, and the European and Asian championships

earlier this year.

Oman’s historic involvement in the Youth Olympic Games was

announced by World Sailing, yacht racing’s global governing body,

with the Sultanate awarded a ‘universality place’ in recognition of the

Oman Sail youth team’s impressive performances at various qualifying

regattas since 2016.

One of the key figures in this process, Windsurfing National Coach

Sultan al-Balushi, said: The whole programme has been gradually

and quietly improving and a great many people have played important

parts in the progress that has taken us to the Youth Olympic Games.

It is a highly competitive regatta of course with the world’s best

young windsurfers all looking to do their best for themselves and their

countries. I have no doubt that Mohammed will be able to demonstrate

the skills and talent we all know he has, as well as gain extremely

valuable experience and learn a great deal from taking part.

Racing in the Techno 293+ windsurfer class is scheduled to

conclude with the final medal race on Friday, 12 October after as many

as 12 races.

Source: Oman News Agency