Muscat Daily - - SPORTS - Ashok Puro­hit

The Oman Ta­ble Ten­nis Com­mit­tee (OTTC) on Tues­day an­nounced that its ready to host the 16th Arab Cup Ta­ble Ten­nis Cham­pi­onships for men and women, which will be hosted for the first time in the sul­tanate, at the Sul­tan Qa­boos Sports Com­plex (SQSC) from Au­gust 15-20.

Speak­ing to Mus­cat Daily on Tues­day, Ab­dul­lah Bamkhalef, the OTTC chief, said, “We are ready to wel­come the 14 Arab na­tions and we hope to con­duct one of the most suc­cess­ful cham­pi­onships ever.

“The par­tic­i­pat­ing teams will be­gin ar­riv­ing on Au­gust 13 and more than 100 play­ers will be in ac­tion in five men and women cat­e­gories each – U12, U15, U18, U21 and se­nior. We may have a total of 200 guests, in­clud­ing of­fi­cials, at­tend­ing the event.”

Bamkhalef said that the Arab Ta­ble Ten­nis Union ex­ec­u­tive board will also meet on the side­lines of the cham­pi­onships while the par­tic­i­pat­ing mem­ber fed­er­a­tions’ chief will also hold a meeting. He thanked the Min­istry of Sports Af­fairs for sup­port­ing the OTTC to host the pres­ti­gious cham­pi­onships

Sa­j­jad al Lawati, as­sis­tant di­rec­tor of the or­gan­is­ing com­mit­tee, said that the lay­out of venue has been de­signed ac­cord­ing to the In­ter­na­tional Ta­ble Ten­nis Fed­er­a­tion (ITTF) stan­dards.

There will be two halls at the SQSC with one hall, com­pris­ing seven ta­bles, for teams’ train­ing ses­sion. The main com­pe­ti­tion hall will con­sist of two show courts and six other ta­bles, which would mean eight matches could be played si­mul­ta­ne­ously.

Be­sides Oman, the coun­tries par­tic­i­pat­ing are Qatar, Egypt, Le­banon, Iraq, Co­moros, So­ma­lia, Mau­ri­ta­nia, Dji­bouti, Su­dan, Tu­nisia, Al­ge­ria, Morocco, Pales­tine and Ye­men.

H E Sheikh Saad al Saadi, the Min­is­ter of Sports Af­fairs, will in­au­gu­rate the cham­pi­onships on Au­gust 15 while the clos­ing cer­e­mony will be presided by H E Sayyid Saud Bin Hi­lal al Bu­saidi, the Min­is­ter of State and Gover­nor of Mus­cat, on Au­gust 20.

Ear­lier on Tues­day, Hashim al Salmi, a mem­ber of the ref­er­ees’ com­mit­tee and Adil al Balushi, a mem­ber of the me­dia com­mit­tee, and Oman na­tional teams’ head coach Mo­hammed Atoum were present at a press meet.

A file photo of Oman pad­dlers train­ing at the Sul­tan Qa­boos Sports Com­plex, the venue of the 16th Arab Cup

L-R: Adil al Balushi, Ab­dul­lah Bamkhalef, Sa­j­jad al Lawati and Hashim al Salmi of the or­gan­is­ing com­mit­tee at a press con­fer­ence on Tues­day

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