Muscat Daily - - SPORTS - Ashok Puro­hit

It is of­ten called the Univer­sity Olympiad and is con­sid­ered to be one of the largest multi-sport event in the world be­sides the Olympic Games.

Oman has been a regular par­tic­i­pant at the Sum­mer Univer­si­ade since 1999 and will be com­pet­ing in four dis­ci­plines at the forth­com­ing 2017 Sum­mer Univer­si­ade, which will be held in Taipei from Au­gust 19-23.

In his re­marks to Mus­cat Daily on Tues­day, Salim al Araimi, the chair­man of the Oman Com­mit­tee for Univer­sity Sports (OCUS), said, “Oman has been rep­re­sent­ing at the Univer­si­ade, the big­gest sports fes­ti­val for var­sity stu­dents, for the past many years. This time, we are send­ing four teams to com­pete in ath­let­ics, ta­ble ten­nis, taek­wondo and swimming.

“A to­tal of 30 sportsper­sons in­clud­ing two girls will com­pete in Taipei. The teams have been

picked af­ter a thor­ough se­lec­tion process and we hope that the par­tic­i­pants will give their best and aim for a podium fin­ish.”

“At the Sum­mer Univer­si­ade, it al­lows univer­sity stu­dent-ath­letes from all over the world to cel­e­brate with the host city in a true spirit of friend­ship and sports­man­ship,” said Araimi.

In Taipei, Oman will be field­ing a team of seven swim­mers, six play­ers in taek­wondo, four pad­dlers in ta­ble ten­nis, and 13 ath­letes in­clud­ing two girls - Mazna al Ma­liki and Eaynuh al Hamimia.

Araimi will head the Oman del­e­ga­tion while Ahmed al Dar­maki has been named his deputy.

Omani stu­dents be­gan their par­tic­i­pa­tion in Univer­si­ade way back in 1999 but in those days the teams or ath­letes were mainly rep­re­sent­ing the Sul­tan Qa­boos Univer­sity.

It was only af­ter the for­ma­tion of the OCUS, by the Min­istry of Sports Af­fairs, in 2007 that the sul­tanate’s del­e­ga­tion com­prised Omani stu­dents from var­i­ous col­leges and uni­ver­si­ties.

It was in 2009 when the first Oman del­e­ga­tion was picked by the OCUS for the Sum­mer Univer­si­ade in Bel­grade, Ser­bia. Two years later, Oman was of­fi­cially af­fil­i­ated to the In­ter­na­tional Univer­sity Sports Fed­er­a­tion (FISU).

Since the par­tic­i­pa­tion in Ser­bia, the OCUS has en­sured that Omani stu­dents reg­u­larly take part in the bi­en­nial Univer­si­ade. More than 10,000 stu­dents are ex­pected to take part in Taipei 2017 Univer­si­ade. At the Shen­zhen Univer­si­ade in China in 2011, there were a record 10,622 par­tic­i­pants while 174 coun­tries took part in Daegu, South Korea in 2003.

Salim al Araimi, the OCUS chief

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