Saturday, January 28, 2023 | Rajab 5, 1444 H
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OMAN
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EDITOR IN CHIEF- ABDULLAH BIN SALIM AL SHUEILI

WVTT players enjoy with an opportunity to explore Oman

Muscat: A break in play on the third day of the World Veteran Table Tennis Championships - Muscat 2023 allowed competitors a unique opportunity to explore Oman and become better acquainted with the host city and is surroundings. While some remained at Oman Convention and Exhibition Centre (OCEC) to fine tune their technique, many others took the chance to discover Oman with a trip to Wadi Shab and Nizwa.


The World Veteran Table Tennis Championships also will welcome HRH Princess Zeina Rashid of Jordan, ITTF Foundation Board Member and a table tennis player herself, to watch next round of action and take in the atmosphere. The ITTF Foundation promotes the physical and mental health benefits of table tennis to people of all ages irrespective of gender, culture, social background, or physical ability.


The day concluded with a Gala Dinner in the evening, prepared by the organising committee to share Omani culture and officially welcome the players to the country. Alongside a traditional meal of local dishes, the visitors were treated to a musical performance and a chance to immerse themselves in Oman’s rich heritage.


The previous day saw some fierce competition in the Men’s and Women’s Doubles and Mixed Doubles as teams completed their two group matches to determine who would be advancing to the next round. The top two teams in the group will progress to the knockout rounds while the third placed team will drop into the Consolation Rounds. Both sides of the draw will resume tomorrow when play continues.


Soman Ukkath Variath and Husam Shalaby advanced to the Round of 32 where they will face Robert Shahnazari and Thor Truelson from the USA. Elsewhere, Diccon Gray and Shirley Gelder of England played out a dramatic five-game match with Stephen Hochman and Wendy Fang of the USA after being pegged back twice and finally triumphed in the deciding game. India’s Jayant Bhalchandra Kulkarni and Neeta Jayant Kulkarni went through a similar battle in their match with Jean-Marc Leroy of France and Hyelan Kim of Korea, overcoming a tie-break loss in the fourth game to edge the fifth and deciding game and take the match 3-2.


There was an equally dramatic match on table 37 as the German team of Jürgen Bayer and Simone Döbler won three successive games to come back from two down and win over Kailash Nichani and Deepa Vinod Jain of India.


Mohammed bin Salim al Aufi, Treasurer of the Omani Table Tennis Association and a member of the Organising Committee for the World Veteran Table Tennis Championship - Muscat 2023, explained that hosting this world championship in Muscat has greatly enhanced the presence of the Sultanate of Oman on the map of international sports, adding that the Omani Table Tennis Association has worked to host many international tournaments during the past several years, which has contributed to the accumulation of experience among the organising members, which greatly qualified them to host international tournaments.


He added, “I would like to commend the great role of the volunteers in this tournament, as they provide great services in various fields, including the organisational aspect within the competition halls, as well as their positive role in organising transfers for the participants, as well as approving and issuing special cards for players, escorts and referees, and other services they provide throughout the tournament period, highly appreciating their great role in the success of the tournament.”


Al Aufi also praised the great cooperation of various governmental and private agencies and institutions supporting the success of the tournament, led by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Youth and the rest of the government agencies as well as private sector institutions.


The World Veteran Table Tennis Championships 2023 is organised by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Youth, the Oman Table Tennis Association and the International Table Tennis Federation, with support from Oman Fiber Optic, STAG Sports, Omantel and Belltel.


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