The eyes of the global sailing community will be on Mussanah, Oman this week as 102 competitors from 16 countries across Asia and Africa look to seal their spot at this summer’s long-awaited Tokyo 2021 Olympic Games.
Kicking off on Thursday 1st April at the Millennium Resort, the week-long tournament offers a final opportunity for male and female sailors to qualify for the Olympics in Laser, Laser Radial, 49er, 49erFX and RS:X sailing and windsurfing classes.
Oman Olympic hopefuls in sailing, 49er sailors Musab Al Hadi, Waleed Al Kindi, Abdul Rahman Al Mashari and Ahmed Al Hasni, are aiming to impress and book their place in Japan with a strong performance on home waters.
Each day of action will be divided into a coach briefing in the morning with racing in the afternoon, giving all competitors the opportunity to familiarise themselves with their equipment as well as the judging criteria and regulations. Racing at the Mussanah Open Championship will begin on Saturday 3rd April 2021 and the prize giving and closing ceremonies will take place on Thursday 8th April 2021.
Rashid Al Kindi, Oman Sail’s Director of Sailing, said, “This is an incredibly important event in the sailing calendar and we’re looking forward to a week of intensely competitive sailing. Oman’s own national team is competing and, in what has been a disrupted season, we need to perform at our very best to reach the Olympic Games. For nearly five years we have been building towards this moment and having the opportunity to compete for a medal in sailing. The Mussanah Open Championship is a chance to realise our dreams on the water and polish our performances against a high calibre of international sailors before travelling to Japan.”
He added, “Mussanah has proven to be an excellent host in the past and due to COVID delays around the world we are honoured that World Sailing and ASAF selected Oman to host the event. We have created a COVID-safe environment for all athletes and delegates with strict measures in place to ensure the safety of everyone involved. We are grateful to the Ministry of Culture, Sport and Youth and the Oman Olympic Committee for their continued support, and to Millennium Resort Mussanah, Salsabeel Water from the National Mineral Water Company and the International Maritime College Oman (IMCO) for their support of this event.”
As events were cancelled and rescheduled due to ongoing COVID-19 restrictions, the Oman national team’s preparations for Olympic qualification took them to training camps in Vilamoura, Portugal, in late-2020 as preparations resumed. This represented a return to the normal training routine after a long hiatus. All sailors, coaches and delegates are currently on site and currently making final preparations for the event which will serve to bolster Oman’s as one of the world’s most exciting event hosts.
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