Youth Olympic Games: Omani athletes gain experience in Buenos Aires

Omani athletes and coaching staff with Taha al Kishry (centre), the OOC secretary-general, in Buenos Aires

It was only experience that the Omani athletes could savour at the third Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

With three of the five athletes in fray finishing their events way down the order, it is the experience of competing at the top-level that will hopefully stand them in good stead in the future competitions.

Oman’s first-ever girl swimmer at the Youth Games, Lara al Yafei, finished last in her heat in the 50m freestyle on Thursday, having suffered an injury ahead of the event.

Competing in the heat No 3, she clocked 29.59s to finish overall 40th among a total of 54 participants. Chile’s Ines Marin won the heat in a time of 27.16s. Czech Republic’s Barbora Seemanova was the fastest qualifier with a time of 25.44s.

The other Omani swimmer in fray, Shihab Alaa Din Rizq Fayez, who recovered from a bike crash a few months ago to make it to the Games, ended his campaign with a fifth-place in the boy’s 100m freestyle heat with a time of 1m:00.68s. Virgin Islands’ Ky Odlum topped the heat in a time of 56.23s. South Korea’s Yooyeon Lee was the fastest qualifier with a time of 50.11s.

Shihab was ranked 44th among the 46 participants.

For Mohammed al Suleimani, who was the first Omani to earn a qualifying mark for the YOG in the 2,000m steeplechase, it was a disappointing start as he failed to finish his event (stage one) on Friday. He is scheduled to race in the pentathlon and cross country (stage two) on Monday.

Oman’s other athlete at the YOG, Ali al Balushi, is scheduled to compete in the 200m heats later on Saturday.

Earlier, the Oman contingent, led by Saada al Ismaili, Oman Olympic Committee (OOC) board member, met Taha al Kishry, the OOC secretary-general, at the Games Village. Kishry also attended the IOC Congress held on the sidelines of the YOG as an OOC representative.

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