MASHAYKHI SHATTERS WORLD RECORD
In a path-breaking achievement, Oman's 26 year old Mohammed al Mashaykhi won the sultanate’s first ever medal at the 2017 World Para Athletics Championships, which concluded in London, UK, on Sunday.
Mashaykhi's silver medal in the men's shot put F32 was even more remarkable as the Omani shattered the world record of 10.39m, set by Greece's Anthanasios Konstantinidis, at the 2016 Rio Paralympics on his way to the podium.
Mashaykhi threw 10.49m with his second throw only to see it broken soon after by the eventual F32 gold medallist, Lahouari Bahlaz of Algeria.
Bahlaz, a Rio 2016 silver medallist, broke Mashaykhi's record with his fifth and final throw by hurling a distance of 11.08m for a new world record. Greece’s Dimitrios Zisidis rounded out the podium with a personal best of 9.57m.
Mashaykhi's 10.49m will be the new Asian record.
Mashaykhi was in line for a another medal but the Omani missed it narrowly.
Competing in the men's club throw F32, he finished fourth with a distance of 28.58m. Bahlaz won the gold with a throw of 34.31m while Poland's Maciej Sochal took silver (33.22m) and Great Britain's Stephen Miller was third (29.32m).
Oman was represented by only two athletes at the meet. Issa al Jawhari, a 30 year old athlete, competed in the men's discus throw F57 and finished seventh in the event.
Speaking after winning the silver, Mashaykhi said, “My training had been good and I entered the worlds with my confidence high. There was a burning desire in me to excel and I am happy to win the silver.
“This is the first time that an Omani has won a medal at the World Para Athletics Championships. I am delighted as I achieved the medal with a record.”
Mansoor al Touqi, the Oman Paralympic Committee (OPC) chairman, who was witness to the record performance, said, “To win a medal at the world championships amid such top-class competition is a matter of pride for all of us and Oman. And Mashaykhi achieved it in style by first breaking a world record and winning the silver with an Asian record.”
Tunisian coach Sonia Mustapha said that Mashaykhi is a “talented athlete and has displayed lot of eagerness to achieve excellence”.
“Mashaykhi puts in great effort during the training, and it has been the key to his success,” said Mustapha.
The meet concluded on Sunday with China finishing on top of the overall medals table with 65, which included 30 gold, 17 silver and 18 bronze medals.
The US came second with 20 gold, 19 silver and 20 bronze. Hosts Britain were third with 18 gold, eight silver and 13 bronze.
London was the eighth edition of the World Para Athletics Championships, and the first since IPC Athletics was rebranded to World Para Athletics.
Mohammed al Mashaykhi
L-R: Mansoor al Tauqi, Mohammed al Mashaykhi and Sonia Mustapha in London, UK, on Sunday