MUSCAT: It was a bitter-sweet day for Oman at the ongoing 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, China, on Saturday.
The men’s national hockey team registered their second successive win at the Games when they defeated Indonesia 4-2 to raise their points tally to six in Pool B at the Gongshu Canal Sports Park Stadium.
Earlier on Thursday, Oman, coached by experienced Dutchman Siegfried Aikman, had beaten Thailand 5-3.
It was a strong comeback by Oman hockey side, who trailed 2-0 against Indonesia at one stage.
However, Oman bounced back to pump in three goals in the third quarter while Indonesia got one to make it 3-2 in favour of Oman going into the final quarter.
Both Indonesian goals came from penalty corners, with the first in 19th minute through Mochamad Fathur, and then in 34th minute when Fadli Muhamad.
Oman began their comeback through a brilliant field goal from Fahad Al Lawati in the 37th minute and drew parity with another stunner, this time off the stick of Aiman Madit.
The wave of attacks from Oman bore fruit when Al Lawati put his team ahead with another field goal in the 41st minute.
Oman finally found success in penalty corner conversion when Akram Bait struck the boards in the 48th minute. They then defended well to earn a morale-boosting win ahead of their final match against heavyweights South Korea on Monday.
China top the Pool B with one round to go with 12 points while Malaysia and South Korea have nine points each. China take on Malaysia on Monday with the winner of that game securing a spot in the semi-finals. Oman are fourth in the pool with six points while Indonesia and Thailand have yet to open their account.
The top two teams from both the pools will make it to the semi-finals.
Al Harthi, Al Balushi
out of medal race
If the hockey team tasted success, the two Omani athletes in 100m competition, Barakat Al Harthi and Ali Anwar Al Balushi, bowed out of the event in the men’s 100m semifinal stage at the Hangzhou Olympic Sports Centre
Al Harthi, an Asian Games bronze medallist, clocked a disappointing 10.50sec in the semifinal to finish seventh among eight sprinters. China’s Zhenye Xie (10.03) and Thailand’s Puripol Boonson (10.06) qualified from semifinal No.2.
Al Harthi had earlier on Friday ran the round 1 heat in 10.52s to advance in the semifinal.
For the ace sprinter, the performance was disappointing as he has been running the distance around 10.25-10.35s in the build-up to the Asian Games.
The only Omani to have ever run a 100m below 10 seconds (9.97s), Al Harthi’s exit in the semifinal of the 100m could possibly mean that this would be last Asian Games.
Al Balushi managed to record a better timing in his semifinal 3 race with a time of 10.33 but that could only get him a seventh spot in the race. Iran’s Hassan Taftian (10.13) and Thailand’s Soraoat Dapbang (10.16) advanced to the finals from this race.
Earlier on Friday, running in the preliminary heat, Al Balushi ran the 100m in 10.47 to finish third in the race and advance to the
For Oman, the only highlight so far has been the historic silver medal win of the sailing duo of Musab Al Hadi and Waleed
The men and women shooters ended their campaign with a whimper while the two swimmers, Issa Al Adawi and Abdul Rahman Al Kulaibi also failed to go beyond the preliminary rounds. The two teams of beach spikers – Nouh Al Jalboobi and Mazin Al Hashimi and Ahmed Al Hosni and Haitham Al Shreiqi - did qualify for the round of 16 but then their run ended in the opening stage of the knockouts.
On Sunday, two athletes –
Mohammed Obaid Al Saadi and Rashid Al Aasmi – will take part in the first round heat of men’s 200m.
Also on Sunday, one of the two lifters would be in action with the men’s 67kg preliminary round where Oman’s Elyas Al Busaidi will be in fray. The other lifter, Amur Al Khanjari, will compete in the 81kg event on Tuesday.