Omani swimmers set eight national records at World Cup Series in Doha

Nawaf al Qasmi

The experienced Omani duo of Aiman al Kulaibi and Nawaf al Qasmi, along with young Issa al Adawi, broke a total of eight national records at the FINA-Arena World Cup 2012 Series that was held in Doha recently.

Kulaibi shattered four national records, while Qasmi and Adawi broke two national records each.

However, the four-member Omani team, which also included Mohammed al Khadouri, failed to clinch a single medal at the highly competitive event.

Kulaibi bettered his own timings en route to the new Omani records - in 100m, 200m, 400m medley and 200m freestyle.

Qasmi, too, improved his own timings to break national records in the 50m and 100m butterfly events. The 13 year old Adawi, who recently had a short training stint in Japan, broke national records in 50m and 100m breaststroke.

Adawi told Muscat Daily, “At first, I thought it was a joke when the announcement was made that I would be competing against Cameron van der Burgh, the world and Olympic champion from South Africa.

"When I saw him at the starting blocks, I said, Wow! It was a once in a lifetime experience for me and I am happy to have raced alongside him.”

Kulaibi said, “The last two months have been very good for me. The experience I got in Doha is very valuable and has given me a lot of confidence. I am now preparing for the Asian championship.”

The national team is coached by Algeria's Kamal al Khoumeri and Hungary's Zsolt Horvath.

Khoumeri said, “It was a top-level competition, our target was to give our boys a chance to compete with world-class swimmers. Of course, our swimmers are not yet ready to win medals at the Asian or world level, but we have to give them the chance to compete at the highest level.”

The next competition for Oman swimmers is the 2012 Asian Swimming Championship, to be held in Dubai from November 15-25.

Khoumeri said, “We want to see further improvement in their timings. Only last month, Omani swimmers including Kulaibi, Qasmi and Adawi broke 11 national records at a GCC meet in Bahrain, and now they have improved further. I think we should be ready in four to five years to get good results at the Asian level.”

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