Muscat: Local table tennis enthusiasts were treated to an exciting action as the curtains went up on the 16th edition of the Arab Table Tennis Cup Championships at the Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex on Tuesday.
The opening day of championships, being organised for the first time in the Sultanate, saw young paddlers from across the Arab world display their talent with players from different countries dominating the proceedings.
Junior competitions marked the first session of the championships when Yousef Mustafa of Tunisia led the Group One with four points after defeating Ali Ba’ali of Qatar 3-2. Yousef Ihab of Egypt was on top of Group Two with four points after defeating Albdulbasit Al Shishi 3-1.
Yousef Ihab’s compatriot Mohammed Walid and Mohammed Al Habsh of Lebanon are on top of Group Three with four points each. Khalil Al Murad of Tunisia heads Group Four points after having defeated Abdulrahman Ghazala of Algeria and Amir Mohammed of Iraq.
In the junior girls competition, Fadwa Al Qarsi of Tunisia defeated Maryam Al Habsh of Lebanon 3-1 and Moroccan Nadwa Al Najdawi 3-0. Hana Ibrahim of Egypt also recorded two victories - over Tunisia’s Baqalouti Manal and Iraq’s Asma Khair Allah. Sara Yasser of Egypt, Shoiuq Saad of Qatar and Lithia A’azar of Lebanon also came up with dominant performances.
The championships draw took place on Monday in the presence of Mohammed bin Abdullah Saleh, assistant secretary-general of the Arab Table Tennis Federation.
Meanwhile, Oman team’s assistant coach Abdullah Al Hajri said the Omani players are ready to give their best.
“Our players have greatly benefited from the recent training camps and they are ready to give their best. We are expecting them to achieve good results,” he said.
The Arab championships, organised by the Oman Table Tennis Committee in co-operation with the Arab Table Tennis Federation, run till August 20.