Beach soccer star Hani al Dhabit to be Oman’s flag-bearer at Asian Beach Games

Beach soccer star Hani al Dhabit to be Oman’s flag-bearer at Asian Beach Games
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Published September 21st, 2016 - 14:16 GMT via

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Hani al Dhabit (c) (Photo: Muscat Daily)
Hani al Dhabit (c) (Photo: Muscat Daily)
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Oman beach soccer captain and experienced footballer Hani al Dhabit will be the sultanate’s flag-bearer at the opening ceremony of the fifth Asian Beach Games (ABG) in Da Nang, Vietnam on September 24.

The beach soccer team arrived in the Vietnamese city on Tuesday while the other participating teams - beach handball, beach volleyball and beach athletics - had already reached there to acclimatise to the conditions ahead of their respective events.

Coached by Talib Hilal, the beach soccer team has high hopes of a podium finish after their recent runner-up spot in the inaugural edition of the Continental Cup in Ordos, China last month.

The beach handball team played a few friendlies on Monday and is looking forward to winning the gold medal. The team had finished runner-up at the previous edition in Phuket, Thailand.

It missed podium on two successive occasions, ending up fourth in both Muscat (2010) and Haiyang, China (2012).

Oman has been placed in Group B that also has hosts Vietnam, Japan, Hong Kong, Sri Lanka and Afghanistan. Oman begins its campaign against Sri Lanka on September 25. Group A comprises defending and two-time champion Qatar, 2008 winner Pakistan, Bahrain, Thailand, India and Indonesia.

The Oman Olympic Committee (OOC) had approved the participation of only four teams for the ABG in Vietnam based on the recommendations of the OOC's planning and follow-up committee. The two beach volleyball teams arrived for the ABG with their confidence high after their good show at the recent Arab championship in Morocco.

The Oman team, comprising Haitham al Shuraiqi and Ahmed al Hosni, won the silver at the Arab meet, while the other duo of Badr al Subhi and Nooh al Jalboobi came fourth.

The teams played friendly matches against Thailand on Monday. Shuraiqi and Hosni had also won a bronze at the 2010 ABG in Muscat.

Barakat al Harthi will spearhead Oman's campaign in the beach athletics competition, while the other members are Wardh al Salti, Khalid al Ghailani, Obaid al Quraini, Samir al Riyami and Yahya al Nofli.

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