28 Oct 2016

Over a decade ago; at the 2005 ITTF World Cadet Challenge staged in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, Tunisia’s Adem Hmam, currently on duty for his country at the ITTF-African Senior Championships in Agadir, caught the eye; one of the major reasons being that he was only 10 years old at the time.

Now at the 2016 ITTF World Cadet Challenge in Shanghai another Tunisian attracts the attention; stand forward Aboubaker Bourass.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

Partnering Egypt’s Marwan Abdelwahab; the African duo caused a major upset in the first round of the Boys’ Doubles event. They recovered from a two games to nil deficit to beat China’s Fan Langyu and Gao Shentong by the very narrowest of margins in a tense five games contest (6-11, 3-11, 11-2, 11-7, 11-9).

Alas from an African perspective, one day later at the quarter-final stage it was to be defeat; they were beaten by the partnership formed Sharon Alguetti and Victor Liu of the United States (12-10, 8-11, 11-3, 15-13).

Meanwhile, on the penultimate day of action in the second stage of the Boys’ Singles event, it was somewhat mixed fortunes.

He experienced defeat at the hands of Australia’s Zaki Zenaidee (4-11, 11-8, 11-9, 11-5), before overcoming Egypt’s Mohamed Sameh (11-4, 12-10, 11-8) and Finn Luu, like Zaki Zenaidee from Australia (11-7, 9-11, 11-9, 13-11), prior to experiencing defeat in his concluding contest of the day when opposing New Zealand’s Zhao Yanglun (12-10, 5-11, 11-5, 10-12, 11-7).

“When I was young, I saw my brother playing the table tennis and I became interested”, said Aboubaker Bourass. “My brother taught me how to serve and receive the ball; gradually, I started to attend training and took part in every competition in my country.”

Now 15 year old Aboubaker Bourass is a seasoned competitor having been playing now for some six years.

“I learned to play table tennis when I was nine, at the beginning, it was difficult for me but my brother encouraged me all the time; now I can beat him”, smiled Aboubaker Bourass. “In my country, there are only a few people who play table tennis, you don’t see people standing beside the table and waiting to play; it’s necessary to develop table tennis in our country.”

Develop the sport but in Africa, Tunisia is one of the most prominent nations; at the current 2016 ITTF-Africa Championships in Agadir they secured silver in the Women’s Team event. It was their first ever time in the final.

Impressive in Agadir; Aboubaker Bourass has been inspired in Shanghai.

“I’m impressed with this competition”, he concluded. “There are many good players; the organization is pretty good; I liked the training camp, it can help me improve my skills and tactics, I hope I can have opportunities to join a competition like this in the future.”

Maybe it will happen; it happened for Adem Hmam; he progressed to compete in the 2010 Youth Olympic Games.

Furthermore partnering Gu Yuting he was bronze in the Mixed Teams event; does same await for Aboubaker Bourass.

2016 ITTF World Cadet Challenge: Schedule of Play
2016 ITTF World Cadet Challenge: Boys’ Teams and Girls’ Teams

2016 ITTF World Cadet Challenge: Cadet Boys’ Team – First Stage Results
2016 ITTF World Cadet Challenge: Cadet Girls’ Team – First Stage Results

2016 ITTF World Cadet Challenge: Cadet Boys’ Team – Main Draw
2016 ITTF World Cadet Challenge: Cadet Girls’ Team – Main Draw

2016 ITTF World Cadet Challenge: Cadet Boys’ Singles – Groups
2016 ITTF World Cadet Challenge: Cadet Boys’ Singles – Positions 1-16
2016 ITTF World Cadet Challenge: Cadet Boys’ Singles – Positions 17-32

2016 ITTF World Cadet Challenge: Cadet Girls’ Singles – Groups
2016 ITTF World Cadet Challenge: Cadet Girls’ Singles – Positions 1-16
2016 ITTF World Cadet Challenge: Cadet Girls’ Singles – Positions 17-32

2016 ITTF World Cadet Challenge: Cadet Boys’ Doubles
2016 ITTF World Cadet Challenge: Cadet Girls’ Doubles
2016 ITTF World Cadet Challenge: Cadet Mixed Doubles

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World Cadet Challenge Aboubaker Bourass