Hadi and Kindi positive ahead of 49er worlds
Oman's Musab al Hadi and Waleed al Kindi are carrying the load of expectations of the sultanate's sailing community as they prepare to compete for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games Qualifiers in Abu Dhabi, UAE, next month.
The Omanis, competing in the 49ers class, are on the brink of history as they chase a maiden qualification into the Olympic Games with a title win in UAE qualifiers securing their berth.
Oman Sail has been strongly backing the duo and in a bid to get them maximum exposure ahead of the qualifiers it has arranged their participation in back-to-back competitions in Australia.
Hadi and Kindi are the reigning Asian 49er champions and on Monday concluded their participation in the 2020 Oceania Championship in Geelong, Australia.
The Oceania regatta was held at the same venue where the 2020 World 49er Championship will be staged from February 10.
The Oceania championship attracted the best of the sailors as it provided a perfect platform for them ahead of the world championship.
Amid the top-class competition at the Oceania meet, Hadi and Kindi finished 47th among a field of 75 teams with a nett score of 87 after eight races.
The best seven results were counted but Hadi and Kindi could not compete in the final race due to a technical glitch. Hadi and Kindi recorded morale-boosting two top-ten finishes with a seventh-place in the opening race, their best show.
Fellow Omani duo of Ahmed al Hasani and Abdulrahman al Mashari finished 66th with a nett score of 75 points.
Speaking after the Oceania Championship, Hadi said, “The time here in Geelong has been invaluable in preparing for the Olympic qualification event next month. It really has been the perfect warm-up event. The conditions have been quite tricky but we definitely learnt a lot in the strong winds. The competition was world class and we are positive of a strong showing at the worlds next week.”
The worlds starts on February 10 and it will be the final event for Hadi and Kindi before they defend their gold medal and try to write a new chapter in Oman’s sailing history at the 2020 Asian Championship in March by qualifying for Tokyo Games.
Kindi said, “It was disappointing not to compete on the final day. But we were able to finetune our preparations ahead of the worlds. We hope for a strong outing at the worlds.”
Musab al Hadi and Waleed al Kindi compete at the 20202 Oceania Championship in Geelong, Australia, on Sunday
Musab al Hadi
Waleed al Kindi