Muscat, Oman’s young sailors have made history
with the Sultanate earning a place at a Youth Olympic Games sailing
event for the first time ever.
For the first time, a sailor from the Oman Sail youth squad will
represent the country at a Youth Olympic Games (YOG), racing in the
Men’s Windsurfing Techno 293+ class in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in
The historic development was announced earlier in the year by
World Sailing, yacht racing’s global governing body, when the
Sultanate was awarded a special ‘universality place’ in recognition of
the youth team’s impressive performances at international YOG
qualifying regattas since 2016.
Universality places are awarded by the International Olympic
Committee only to athletes meeting the required technical level and
This has truly been a team effort with every member of the Oman
Sail youth squad playing a part in this great achievement, said Oman
Sail CEO David Graham.
Winning a place at the Youth Olympic Games is the result of hard
work by the sailors and their coaches and also marks a significant
milestone in Oman Sail’s long-term objective to secure qualification for
the 2024 Olympic Games, said Oman Sail CEO David Graham.
Recent results have demonstrated how far the windsurfing squad
has come and we congratulate the whole team as the coaches work
towards making their selection of the sailor who will represent Oman in
Buenos Aires, he added.
The Oman Sail Youth Windsurf Programme was set up in 2014, with
a national team making its international debut in 2016, followed by the
Youth Worlds and European Championships in 2017.
Earlier this year youth squads competed at their first ever Asian
Windsurfing Championships and secured top-10 finishes in the silver
fleet at the Techno Plus European Championships in Sicily as well as
the Mayor of Sopot Regatta last month in Poland (finished third).
This was an historic moment to see the Sultanate awarded its first
ever sailing place at a Youth Olympic Games, said Sheikh Khalid al-
Zubair, Oman Olympic Committee Chairman.
It reflects the efforts exerted by those managing the development of
this sport in the Sultanate and the progress made by these young
talents in such a short time. We wish the selected sailor all the best of
luck in representing Oman and delivering an outstanding
Olympic rules limit countries to a single place in each sailing
category. The final selection decision for Buenos Aires will be made by
the Oman Sail performance management team following the Techno
293+ world championship in Latvia in August and further training
camps in Oman.
Ceri Williams, Executive Secretary of the International Windsurfing
Association, paid tribute to the youth squad’s success and Oman Sail’s
Windsurfing is a relatively new sport in Oman, but we have been
working closely with the sailing authorities there to encourage this
It is especially gratifying to see the hard work put in by sailors,
coaches, officials and sponsors now delivering results. Over the past
few years it has been noticeable how the teams coming to international
class championships have improved.
From the contacts I have made I feel sure that progress will be
maintained and we will all benefit from the dedication to the sport
shown by Oman Sail.
Oman Sail was set up in 2008 as a pioneering national initiative to
reconnect Omanis with their maritime heritage and use sailing to
promote socio-economic development and tourism. Alongside other
projects, including the Women’s Sailing Programme, the Oman Sail
Performance Pathway was also established with the ultimate goal of
winning an Olympic sailing medal.
Source: Oman News Agency