All eyes on opening of Tokyo spectacle
The official Sultanate delegation will take part in the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 which will begin on Friday at 8 pm (3 pm Oman Time) at the National Olympic Stadium in Tokyo.
This is the tenth consecutive presence of Oman in the Olympic Games which reflects the Sultanate’s commitment to take part in the top sporting events.
Oman’s swimmer Issa al Adawi, in his debut presence at Tokyo 2020 Olympics, will be the flag bearer of Oman contingent during the march past at the opening ceremony.
Japanese Emperor Naruhito will preside over the declaration of the opening ceremony of Tokyo 2020 Olympics besides expected attendance of top delegates including presidents from some countries, top dignitaries, officials from Japan government and International Olympic Committee (IOC), limited number from each National Olympic Committees (NOC) and commercial partners and representatives of Tokyo 2020.
The organising team for opening ceremony completed all the final preparations for the top start of Tokyo 2020 Olympics. The organisers preferred to use a new theme titled ‘Moving Forward’ which was unveiled recently for both opening and closing ceremonies. This was an indication for the proper response to the global Covid health crisis that impacted on Olympic Games start last year.
Despite the absence of the spectators at the opening ceremony, the organisers have arranged fireworks, march past of participating countries and fanfare. The march past will be headed by Greece as it is the home of the Ancient Olympic Games and it will be concluded by the hosts Japan as they will enter last to the stadium.
In accordance to the countermeasures against Covid-19 pandemic, the delegation members capacity who will represent each Olympic nation in the opening ceremony was reduced in order to ensure safety of all the attendees and implementing of proper social distancing.
The new National Stadium known as ‘Olympic Stadium’ will host the opening and closing ceremony of Tokyo 2020 Olympics. The total seating capacity of the stadium is 60,000 spectators. The same venue had hosted the Summer Olympic Games in 1964.
The commencement of the top global sporting event on the planet may act as inspiration for many international sporting federations to resume the postponed events and championships in the coming period under strict medical protocol.
Sayyid Khalid bin Hamed al Busaidi, Chairman of Oman Olympic Committee (OOC), said the Sultanate’s participation in Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games comes within the framework of confirming the Sultanate’s presence in various regional and international sports forums. “The OOC totally support the principles of the Olympic movement run by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).”
The OOC chief appreciated the top efforts made by the IOC, the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee and the Japanese government to host this top sporting showpiece event despite all the difficulties of health crises linked to Covid-19 pandemic. “Special thanks to all in Tokyo 2020 Olympics team to ensure the safety of the athletes and all participants in this top sporting event through ‘Playbook’ which included all precautionary measures to have a safe Olympic Games through implementing a strict medical protocol,” he said.
“Five athletes will represent the Sultanate in this global sporting event. All of them met the requirements of obtaining the Olympic invitation card besides to the strong relations of OOC with the international sporting federations.”
“We hoped to have more athletes for Olympics, but unfortunately there were not many qualified athletes. Hence, we would like to work closely with the sports associations to have proper plans that will ensure attendance of many domestic athletes in forthcoming Olympic Games. We depend on our athletes to accomplish advanced records and top technical performances. We are looking forward from our stars to represent the Sultanate in an honourable manner in this glorious sporting event.”
The OOC chief concluded his statement on sending special thanks to HH Sayyid Theyazin bin Haitham al Said, Minister of Culture, Sports and Youth, for the support to ensure the OOC’s presence in Olympic Games.
Taha al Kishri, Secretary-General of OOC, expressed gratitude to the IOC and organising committee for the countermeasures taken against Covid-19 and ensure to have a safe Olympic Games. “I requested all the national teams’ representatives to adhere to all the set health rules and regulations which will ensure safety of the athletes inside the Olympic Villages and venues. Thanks to the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Youth and national health entities who supported OOC to vaccinate all the Sultanate’s delegation members ahead of traveling to Japan,” he said.
Commenting on OOC role during the Olympic Games, he said: “We will ensure our cooperation with all the sports associations and committees ahead of any international and regional championships. We hope that our athletes will register new records and advance results that reflect development of Oman’s sport,” he ended.
Issa in Olympic Village
The Sultanate’s swimming star, Issa al Adawi, entered to the Olympic Village on Thursday as the first athlete from Oman. He was accompanied by Japanese coach Kusanagi Kenta. Oman coach Ayman al Kulaibi will arrive in Tokyo on Friday and both coaches will supervise Issa’s training sessions at Tokyo Aquatic Centre.
Oman shooting team is the second expected team to arrive in Japan on Sunday, while athletics and weightlifting team will arrive on Tuesday.