Omani paddlers impress in Jordan

Muscat: Oman national table tennis (Under-12) team paddlers delivered an impressive performance, claiming third place, in the West Asian Championships held in Jordan from August 15 to 19.
The Sultanate team positioned in third place after beating United Arab Emirates 3-1 in the third/fourth place match. In the semifinal round, Oman team suffered a 3-2 loss against Saudi Arabia in a thriller.
Omani paddlers Ahmed al Riyami and Loqman al Farsi were the stars of the Sultanate team for U-12. Both paddlers showed solid performances in all the rounds. The national (U-12) team played in Group B alongside to Syria, Bahrain and Lebanon while the U-18 team was grouped beside Jordan, UAE, Saudi Arabia and Lebanon.
The other national teams for U-15 and U-18 were very close to reach the podium but they lost in the deciding rounds of the matches due to the differences in the experience.
Oman’s accomplishment in the West Asian Championships for teams is a step in the right direction for the national teams to continue in this path and register better achievements in the forthcoming participation. The achievement is good credit for the Sultanate team as they will host one of the ITTF hopes and cadet world series in Muscat during October at the Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex.
The Oman Table Tennis Committee (OTTC) board’s target was very clear since the formation of the committee to invest in the junior teams. OTTC established a dedicated junior centre in many clubs to provide a professional training environment for the players. After few years, OTTC achieved the vision through reaching Omani paddlers to the podium.
The four days championship in Jordan witnessed participation of Jordan (the hosts), Saudi, UAE, Bahrain, Lebanon, Syria, Palestine and the Sultanate. Oman’s squad in the tournament consist of the following paddlers: Ahmed al Riyami, Loqman al Farsi, Al Mundher al Farsi, Essa al Riyami, Muadh al Shehi, Mohammed Atoum as the head coach of the Sultanate team and Mohammed al Jassasi, OTTC board member as head of Oman’s delegation.
“We started our preparations for this participation since beginning of summer through internal and external camps. All the junior players were involved in a very intensive training programme to improve their technical levels and boost their table tennis skills. I believe claiming the podium of West Asia will encourage the Sultanate players to provide better shows in the upcoming regional and continental events,” coach Mohammed Atoum said.
“Taking part at this international championships and tournaments are very essential for the local players to adapt with the international matches rate,” The Jordanian coach concluded.