El-Sayed Lashin, the runner up in Abu Dhabi
Under the patronage of His Highness, Sheikh Mansour Ben Zayed Al-Nahyan, the table tennis event at the Ramadan Games of the Armed forces was held at the Abu Dhabi club from 27th September to 2nd October 2006.
The meeting in Abu Dhabi was the tenth time that the Ramadan Games had been held and it was a watershed for table tennis.
It was the first time that table tennis had been included in the programme.
“Players from Egypt, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Lebanon, Palestine and the United Arab Emirates played”, said Khaled El Salhy, ITTF Board of Directors Member and present in Abu Dhabi throughout the competition. “Also many people from the United Arab Emirates were there and for the Chinese coaches working with clubs in that part of the world it was an event they simply could not miss!”
The event proved a great success and was keenly fought.
“The number one seeded player Ahmed Ali Saleh of Egypt lost in the semi-finals to Chinese Yang Lee; El-Sayed Lashin finished in runners up spot with Egypt’s Sherif Diaa beating Ahmed Ali Saleg for the third place”, continued Khaled El-Salhy. “Yang Lee was crowned champion ahead of the three Egyptians.”
A well organised event, the first stage consisted of group matches, in which the top thirty-two players did not participate; the competition then proceeded in the knock-out manner with play-off matches to determine the top ten places.
Most impressive was the prize money; the total was no less than one hundred and thirty-three thousand Derhams (US$35,000 dollars) being allocated as follows: 1st 2,5000, 2nd 2,2000, 3rd 1,8000, 4th 1,4000, 5th 1,2000, 6th 1,0000 with seventh to tenth places receiving 8000 Derhams each.
“Lieutenant Colonel Khaled AL-Qattan, member of board of the United Arab Emirates Table Tennis Association and the head of organising committee of the table tennis tournament was very pleased of the level and number of participants considering it was the first time the tournament is held”, explained Khaled El Salhy. “He said that the intention of the club is to increase the numbers next year by inviting more players from stronger countries and increasing the prize money as well which will encourage better ranked players to participate and step by step we will try to join the ITTF Pro Tour events.”
A very positive attitude and the man to talk was by his side. Khaled El-Salhy is the chair of the ITTF Calendar Working Group and was the guest of honour of this tournament.
“I am very pleased to see such a high level of organization, the National Olympic Committee provided everything the players could need and everyone was pleased with the club and with the high class hotel”, said Lieutenant Colonel Khaled AL-Qattan. “The organisers are so keen to put the event on the ITTF calendar starting of the next year and to work with ITTF much more closely in hosting world title events in the future.
Ambitious but that is to applauded and the clear intention to move forward is very good news for that part of the world; more events, exciting events and events that are good for both Abu Dhabi and table tennis look set to follow.
The presentation ceremony with General Mohamed Helal El-Kaeby, the President of the Armed Forces Officers Club.
Photo by Khaled El Salhy
1. Yang Lee (CHN) 2. El-Sayed Lashin (EGY) 3. Ahmed Ali Saleh (EGY)4. Sherif Diaa (EGY) 5. Wang Ci (CHN) 6. Rashid Omar (UAE) 7. Ahmed Al-Mohanady (QAT) 8. Liao Wings Yang (CHN 9 Emad Moselhi (EGY)10. Zhang Zianhua (CHN)