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

October.

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

eligibility criteria.

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

performance.

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

development strategy.

Windsurfing is a relatively new sport in Oman, but we have been

working closely with the sailing authorities there to encourage this

development.

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