21 Aug 2017

A colourful opening ceremony, at which Qatar’s Khalil Al-Mohannadi, ITTF Deputy President and President of the Arab Tennis Union, amongst local dignitaries, addressed those present, signified the start of the Seamaster 2017 Arab Cup in Muscat, Oman.

Furthermore, when play concluded on Thursday 17th August, he had good reason to be pleased with proceedings, Mohammed Abdulwahhab, a regular face on the ITTF World Junior Circuit and from Qatar, secured the Under 21 Men’s Singles title.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

At the final hurdle the 18 year old accounted for Algeria’s Naim Karali (9-11, 11-4, 11-8, 11-8, 9-11, 11-7) to reserve the top step of the podium. Algeria’s Youniss Douifi and Nawaf Al-Malki also from Qatar, concluded matters in the respective third and places.

Notably earlier this year in July at the ITTF Africa Cup in Agadir, Morocco; Naim Karali reached the quarter-final stage of the Men’s Singles event. He was beaten by the champion elect, Nigeria’s Quadri Aruna.

It was a most meritorious performance, the words of a World Championships and European Championships gold medallist being heeded.

“I am very happy, before the tournament Peter Karlsson, my coach, told me I will play in the Under 21 Men’s Singles event, not in the junior category. I agreed and it worked out.” Mohammed Abdulwahhab

Success for Mohammed Abdulwahhab very much brings the first part of the tournament to a conclusion. On the first three days, starting on Tuesday 15th August, no less than 12 events were held. In the Under 21, Junior and Cadet age group categories, singles and doubles events were organised for both male and female players.

Now commencing on Friday 18th and concluding on Sunday 20th August, the same applies in the Men’s and Women’s categories as well as in the Hopes age group.

Success for one notable name, in the guise of Mohammed Abdulwahhab and there were more for players who in recent times have made their presence felt on the international scene.

Notably Egypt’s Marian Alhodaby won the Junior Girls’ Singles title beating Algeria’s Hiba Feredj in the final (13-11, 11-7, 5-11, 11-3, 11-4). Mohamed Azzam, likewise from Egypt, secured the Cadet Boys’ Singles crown. In the title deciding contest, he accounted for Tunisia’s Khali Sta (11-7, 11-0, 11-5).

 Seamaster 17th Arab Cup
Photos: Ismail Mohamed Alfarsi

Seamaster 2017 Arab Cup Khalil Al-Mohannadi Mohammed Abdulwahhab