OMAN RIDERS PICK SILVER
Yemen claims top honours on the opening day of the Tent Pegging World Cup Qualifiers in Salalah
TENT PEGGING WORLD CUP QUALIFIERS: GROUP A Hosts Oman got off to an encouraging start as the sultanate riders claimed a silver medal on the opening day of the ITPF 2018 World Cup Tent Pegging Qualifiers-Group A in Salalah on Tuesday evening.
Organised by the Oman Equestrian Federation (OEF) under the auspices of the Muscat-based International Tent Pegging Federation (ITPF), the three-day qualifiers have five countries in fray for the three available spots for the World Cup in Moscow, Russia, next year.
Yemen clinched the gold on Tuesday while Jordan took the bronze, edging past Qatar.
Britain was fifth.
The opening day witnessed three rounds of the signature lance and peg competition with four riders from each team competing in individual, pair and team round. Points were accumulated after each round to determine the day’s podium.
Yemen riders dominated as they garnered a total of 135 points for the title. Oman collected 126 for the silver while Jordan had 98.5, a mere half point separating it from Qatar. Britain could muster only 73.
The Omani riders in action on Tuesday were Hilal al Balushi, Safwan al Maamari, Ali al Balushi and Hamad al Riyami.
The Group A event is the first of the four qualifiers arranged by the ITPF to pick the ten best na- tions for Moscow, where a total of 11 teams including hosts Russia will vie for the world title.
Initially, defending champion Egypt and Syria were pooled in Group A but Egypt was replaced by Jordan and Syria expressed its regret to participate leaving only five countries to battle out.
The Group B qualifiers are scheduled in January with hosts Australia, India, Bahrain, Iraq, UAE and Pakistan vying for the three spots from the group.
Group C qualifiers will be held in Sudan in January with two teams making it to Russia. Besides the hosts, Germany, Morocco and inaugural World Cup winner South Africa are in fray. The Group D qualifiers are in Saudi Arabia where the hosts will vie for the two spots with Egypt, Norway and US.
On Tuesday, the event was inaugurated by H E Sheikh Saad al Saadi, the Minister of Sports Affairs, in the presence of H E Sheikh Khalid al Marhoon, the Minister of Civil Service, Mohammed Issa al Fairuz, the ITPF chairman, Sayyid Mundhir al Busaidi, the OEF chief, and other dignitaries.
Later, H E Saadi presented the awards to the teams.
Oman riders in action during the opening day of the ITPF Tent Pegging World Cup Qualifiers-Group A in Salalah on Tuesday
The top-three teams after the first day’s action with the chief guest, H E Sheikh Saad al Saadi, and other officials