Haitham hogs limelight

MUSCAT, Sept 24 – Seeb star Haitham al Mandhari stole the limelight as he clinched three titles at the Oman National Table Tennis Championship on Sunday. Al Mandhari’s brilliant show also lifted Seeb club to the senior team title. Haitham beat Nasser al Balushi 3-1 in the final of youth category in the morning session on Sunday while he registered another victory in the evening as he defeated Muhannad al Balushi with same result. The national TT championship organised by Oman Table Tennis Committee (OTTC) concluded at the Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex, featuring eight clubs in the general team’s category. With this championship, the OTTC ended the season of the current year. The committee is gearing up for the upcoming tournaments scheduled for 2019. Dr Issam Ali al Rawas, Deputy Chairman of the Public Authority for Crafts Industries, was the chief guest for the concluding ceremony in the presence of OTTC Chairman Abdullah bin Mohammed Bamakhalef and several officials from the Ministry of Sports Affairs.

Seeb emerge champions
In the senior team category, it were Seeb all the way. Haitham al Mandhari and teammates recorded victories in all the seven matches with 14 points. Saham came second with 13 points, while Dhofar secured third position with 13 points. Seeb commenced with a 3-1 victory against Salalah. In the second match, champions of TT tournament won 3-0 against Oman club while they beat Samayil 3-1 in the fourth round. In a tough match, Seeb players registered a 3-2 narrow win over Dhofar. Later, Seeb continued their winning results and beat Saham and Al Nahdha with scores of 3-1 and 3-2 respectively. Seeb topped the league table with 14 points.
Meanshile, Haitham clinched titles of both categories for youth and senior men categories. He registered victories in both matches as he beat Nasser al Balushi and Muhannad al Balushi with a score of 3-1 in the finals. The Arab TT bronze medal winner lifted his game in the title showdowns proving himself as one of the national stars. “I am very proud with my achievements in this edition of the national championship. I am looking to be at the international podium in the coming future,” Haitham al Mandhari said.
International badges
As many as 12 referee received international badges as they completed all the international assignments and examinations. The new international referees batch will join to the OTTC family and will contribute in managing the coming local and international tournaments and championships.
Abdullah Bamakhalef, OTTC Chairman, congratulated all the clubs who won the top positions in the national TT championship. He mentioned that the OTTC gearing up to announce the tournament’s plan for 2019 through a press conference to be held very soon. He thanked the chief guest for attending the concluding ceremony. He appreciated all the efforts that have been came from different organisations and media for their continues support to OTCC’s events.

Adil Al Balushi