Stage set for annual sports gala


Minister of Sports Affairs Sheikh Saad bin Mohammed bin Said Al Mardhouf Al Saadi will preside over the function.

Muscat: The Ministry of Sports Affairs is set to honour the sports stars of 2012 at the Al Bustan Palace Hotel Monday. The grand ceremony will be held in the presence of Sheikh Saad bin Mohammed bin Said Al Mardhouf Al Saadi, minister of sports affairs, along with head of Oman Olympic Committee (OOC) and officials of all sports associations.

The major highlight of the function will be Oman's motor-racing racing sensation Ahmad Al Harthy, who won the Porsche Carrera Pro AM1 Championship in London last year.The motor sport ace will be honoured along with Oman football captain and Wigan Athletic goalkeeper Ali Al Habsi. The duo have been picked for individual honours, according to the Ministry of Sports Affairs communique.

The teams, which have been included in the list of honour are as follows:
Football
With football being the most popular sport in the country, the game continues to inspire the youngsters. With exceptional performance by the Under-22 team in the AFC U-22 Asian Cup qualifiers held in Muscat last year, Oman successfully booked a place in the Asian Cup qualifiers finals. The national team has kept their hopes alive after a spirited performance in the final phase of 2014 World Cup qualifiers. With three remaining matches, the Paul Le Guen coached Oman is looking to book a place in the World Cup to be held in Brazil.

Volleyball
The national junior team achieved a fourth place in the Gulf Volleyball Championship for juniors that was held in Doha from April 23-29, 2012. Oman's Omar bin Abdullah Al Thahari got the player of the tournament award. In the 21stt Arab Beach Volleyball Championship that was held in Jordan from 8-14 July 2012, Oman finished fourth in the overall standings.

Athletics
In the Gulf Athletic Championship for girls hosted in Muscat during February 23-24, 2012, Oman won 8 medals (3 golds, 4 silver and 1 bronze). Oman also achieved two silver medals in U-13 GCC Championship that was held in Kuwait during April 4-6. It is worth noting that star athlete Shinoona Al Habsi was the lone women participant in the London Olympics 2012.

Tennis
Oman's tennis sensation Fatma Al Nabhani won the Fujairah Tennis Championship that was held in April 2012. She also managed a silver medal in the doubles category. Fatma also received a silver medal in the Sharm Al Sheikh tournament in Egypt during September 16-22, 2012. As many as 150 players from 25 countries participated in the tournament.

Brothers Khalid Al Nabhani and Mohammed Al Nabhani won the Sheikh Zayed Cup (doubles category) that was held in April 2012. Oman also came second in the West Asia ITF tournament that was held in Muscat in September 2012 with participation from
10 countries.

Shooting
Oman won 10 medals including four gold medals in the Emir Championship that was held in Kuwait March 19-26, 2012. Around 550 shooters from 31 countries participated in the event. Interestingly, Oman's Ahmed Al Hathmi qualified for the London Olympics 2012 after he recorded 138 points during his participation in several championships held in China, Slovenia, Serbia and Italy. In January 2012, Oman achieved five medals (2 gold, 2 silver and 1 bronze) in the International Military Shooting Championship that was held in Brunei during January 5-30, 2012.

Swimming
In swimming, Aiman Hamad Al Khulaibi won the gold medal in 50m category in the 2nd Dubai International Swimming Championship in February 2012. 209 swimmers represented the championship. Oman also won 14 medals in the 9th Gulf Championship in Kuwait that was held during March 7-10, 2012.

Hockey
Oman won the International Hockey Championship that was held in March 2012 in Doha. National player Mohammed Hubais was adjudged the player of the tournament. For the first time, Oman also participated in the Asian Champions League that was held in Doha in December 2012.

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