by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
In the Boys’ Team event, the overall score in the fixture against Belgium stood at two matches to one for Egypt. Aly Ghallab faced Thibaut Darcis, the contest went the full five games distance; in the fifth game the two players were level at 7-all.
Aly Ghallab served, seemingly he had won the point and had an 8-7 lead. The officials awarded the point to the Egyptian. However, Aly Ghallab, to his great credit, advised the umpire that the ball had touched his face during the service action and the point should be awarded to his adversary; the decision was reversed.
Thibaut Darcis won the contest (11-5, 9-11, 6-11, 11-5, 11-8) and secured a Belgian victory.
The award involves a cheque for US$ 1,500; the prize to be used for career development; certainly the Egyptian teenager has most certainly honoured the agreement.
He used the money to finance a visit to Heidelberg in German from Monday 3rd to Saturday 8th October, where he attended coaching sessions under the direction of Eva Jeler and Peter Gardos.
“It was a great pleasure and big honour to meet Eva Jeler and Peter Gardos in Heidelberg, it was only five days but it was really tough; I used every second and every point to improve myself. I still remember Eva’s words: “you have a lot of talent and working with you is so much fun”. I am now practising what she advised. I want to thank her and Peter for their efforts.”
A just reward for honesty and integrity; the award was well spent.