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Beach Games: House full at musannah.

THE Asian Beach Games venue in Musannah wore a festive look yesterday. Fans from far across the country flocked-in to the Sports Village to witness volleyball and handball games that was almost house-full with as many as hundreds of them cheering for the home team.

"The weekend holidays has given us the chance to come and witness the Games here. We will try and come back next week to cheer for Oman," said Raghavendra Rao, who came with his family from Sohar to watch the Games yesterday.

"We had come to watch the opening ceremony as well and Oman for the first time looks quite sporty," Rao said. The opening ceremony was watched by packed audience on Wednesday night. The scene continued even on Thursday night, when Oman's beach soccer clash against Syria was watched by a packed audience.

"You don't get to see this every time and we are hosting a historic tournament so how can we miss this," said Laila Al Ajmi, a BBA student who came with her friends and family to watch the volleyball match against Palestine that Oman lost by an inch.

"It is not necessary that we have to win gold in all the games but participation is the key. "We want to show the world that we can host a world class event and I think by what we witnessed during the opening ceremony, we have already proved that we can," Laila added.

The Muscat Asian Games is in the news for all the good reasons. When Fifa president Sepp Blatter came to visit the Sports Village here on Thursday, International Olympic President (IOC) Jacques Rogge came as a special guest during the opening ceremony.

"Sepp Blatter is our close friend," Mohammed Al Rahby, businessmen who came with his family yesterday said. "But showing our hospitality to the world is more important. We want to be a humble host and we are," Mohammed said.

His 12-year-old son Khalid Al Rahby, who came in the morning did not want to leave until Oman played Chinese Tapie later in the day.

"We stay in Nizwa and it's quite far from this place. I have to go for work on Saturday but he (Khalid) does not want to come from here. This place is simply phenomenal," he added.

Muscat Press and Publishing House SAOC 2009

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Publication:Times of Oman (Muscat, Oman)
Geographic Code:7OMAN
Date:Dec 11, 2010
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