The Oman Olympic Committee (OOC) has decided to send a smaller delegation with participation in only four disciplines - football, athletics, tennis and taekwondo - after initially clearing teams for six events. Speaking to Muscat Daily on Tuesday, a senior OOC official, who requested anonymity, said, “The swimming and shooting teams have been dropped at the last minute due to budgetary constraints.”
Coached by Hamad al Azzani, Oman's football team has been clubbed along with Palestine,
Algeria and Turkey in a tough Group B. Hosts Azerbaijan have been pooled with Cameroon, Saudi Arabia and Morocco in Group A.
Oman begins its campaign with a match against Palestine on May 8, followed by games against Turkey (May 10) and Algeria (May 15).
Tennis star Fatma al Nabhani will spearhead Oman's gold medal hopes as she is the defending champion, having won the title at the 2013 Games in Palembang, Indonesia. Younis al Rawahi is Oman's only representative in men's tennis event.
The Omani athletes will provide further hope for the sultanate with star sprinter Barakat al Harthi expected to be among the podium finishers in the 100m event.
The taekwondo team comprises a woman participant in Yusra al Shoukri.
Sixteen top-level venues will be used for next week's Games, as all 57 Islamic Solidarity Sports Federation countries will compete for the first time, across 20 different sports.