by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
The trio comprising Mahshid Ashtari, Maryam Samet and Neda Shahsavari set the tone for the day; in the Women’s Team final they accounted for the Azerbaijan trio of Chen Xingtai, Ning Zhing and Wang Miao by three matches to one.
Mainstay of the victory was Mahshid Ashtari, she accounted for both Wang Miao (11-7, 10-12, 6-11, 11-9, 11-7) and Chen Xingtai (11-6, 11-7, 11-4); whilst, sandwiched in between, Maryam Samet and Neda Shahsavari joined forces to win the doubles in what was arguably the crucial match of the fixture.
They overcame Chen Xingtai and Wang Miao in four games (6-11, 11-9, 11-6, 11-9). The one win for the host nation was secured in the opening match of the engagement; Ning Zhing accounted for Neda Shahsavari in four games (11-4, 11-6, 11-4).
Success for the Women’s Team was followed by success for the Men’s Team; likewise the outfit comprising Nima Alamian, Noshad Alamiyan and Afshin Noroozi recorded a three-one win.
In determined mood, they beat the Turkish outfit formed by Li Ahmet, Ibrahim Gündüz and Gencay Menge; with perhaps somewhat surprisingly the one defeat suffered, being experienced by Noshad Alamiyan, the winner three days earlier of the Men’s Singles event. In the second match of the engagement he was beaten by Li Ahmet (13-15, 12-10, 13-11, 11-5).
However, success for younger brother Nima Alamian in the opening match against Ibrahim Gündüz (8-11, 11-5, 11-4, 11-5) and in partnership with Afshin Noroozi in the doubles against Ibrahim Gündüz and Gencay Menge (12-10, 9-11, 11-6, 8-11, 11-4), gave Iran the necessary impetus.
Noshad Alamiyan duly built on the momentum; he beat Gencay Menge in four games to seal the contest (7-11, 11-7, 11-6, 17-15) and the title.
Success for Iran; delighted with the success was Mehrdad Alighardashi, the President of the Table Tennis Federation of Islamic Republic of Iran and his colleague Afshin Badiee, the Chair of the Jury. At the closing ceremony they had more than cause to celebrate.
Similarly, Khaled El-Salhy, the President of the African Table Tennis Federation and the Technical Delegate was most positive.
Furthermore, despite no gold in the table tennis events, there was more than consolation and delight for the host nation; Azerbaijan topped the overall medal table.
2017 Islamic Solidarity Games: Results – Men’s Team & Women’s Team Events (Monday 22nd May)
2017 Islamic Solidarity Games: Table Tennis Events – Medal Table
2017 Islamic Solidarity Games: All Events – Overall Medal Table