Muscat Daily - - FRONT PAGE - Ashok Puro­hit

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

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