The 2020 ITTF Challenge Plus Oman Open entered the knockout stages of the men and women singles competitions. The 64 round competitions will begin on Friday morning while the quarterfinals will be held on Saturday. The semis and final matches are scheduled on Sunday at the Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex.
Oman’s Muhannad al Balushi secured a slot in the 64 round as a beneficiary of the host country. Saham player is ranked as one of the top domestic paddlers and he was the runner up of the national singles tournament in the last year.
Oman’s Muadh al Shehi registered a 3-0 win over the Pakistani Zahoor beside his victory as Qatar’s Mohammed Abdul Wahab withdrew from the tournament.
Muadh will play against Belgium’s Martin Allegro in the Round of 64. Oman’s other paddler Issa al Riyami suffered a 3-0 against the Egyption player Ahmed Zayed and defeated the Indian player Shetty S 3-0. He won the USA’s Levinski match points as he withdrew from the tournament.
The Sultanate paddler’s Asad al Raisi, also suffered three defeats against Nigerian Abdullah A 3-0, Austrian al Samhoury T 3-0 and Indian’s Chandra J 3-0.
Yelena Druzhkova, High Performance and Development manager for Asian zone at International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) stated that Oman Table Tennis Committee (OTTC) is doing a fabulous job to spread table tennis in the country. “A dedicated thanks to the committee for their excellent efforts to host ITTF challenge plus despite the challenges including the coronavirus and withdrawal of many players. Many players attended and participated and that is a good indication for the success of the tournament,” she added.
Besides the local efforts through organising the tournaments and development workshops for coaches and umpires, OTTC succeeded in organising high profile tables tennis of excellent quality. The OTTC members are experienced to host top events of ITTF as they are satisfying all the requirements and sometimes exceeding the level of the requirement,” ITTF director said.
“An expected cooperation will happen soon between ITTF and OTTC for the training camp for the cadet and junior. We are in the discussion stage and all the details will be released soon after the finalising. Oman hosted a super international camp in Salalah in July last year. Our expectations are very high to see a top camp in the near future,” she ended.