23 Mar 2018

Staged at the International Table Tennis Academy of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Tehran was the home for a recent Mid Asia Hopes Week. Proceedings commenced on Tuesday 23rd January and concluded on Sunday 28th January.

The expert on duty was Slovenia’s Andreja Ojstersek Urh.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager

A total of eight boys and six girls, born between Sunday 1st January 2006 and Wednesday 31st December 2008 participated; in addition to Iran, players travelled from Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan.

Furthermore, the Table Tennis Federation of the Islamic Republic of Iran provided two boys and four girls each day to fulfil the role of being practice partners.

Throughout five table tennis tables were available in most pleasant surroundings with sufficient balls for the necessary practices. All the coaches were most active being responsible every day for warming up and stretching routines.

Medallists in the Boys’ Singles Challenge tournament Photo: courtesy of Andreja Ojstersek Urh)


Separate training sessions, two per day with one afternoon free, were held for boys and girls; thus for Andreja Ojstersek Urh the schedule was five hours in the morning and the same in the afternoon.

A detailed itinerary, basic strokes was the subject for the first day, followed by footwork, the active game, passive play and individual practices, including multi-ball practices, to complete the five day schedule.

Matters concluded on day six with the Challenge tournament; the host nation dominant. Samadi Mohamamadamin won the Boys’ Singles event beating Najafi Matin in the final; the counterpart Girls’ Singles title was secured by Sophanikhah Mona. She accounted for twin sister Sobhanikhah Mobina in the title deciding match.

Medallists in the Girls’ Singles event at the Challenge tournament (Andreja Ojstersek Urh)


Impressively, the matches were officiated by International Umpires with one table being live streamed; attractive awards were made to the successful players.

“The Table Tennis Federation of the Islamic Republic of Iran did a great job; they organised the camp and tournament really well. Special thanks go to Mr. Mehrdad Alighardashi, the President; Mr. Mahmood Nazari, General Secretary and to Miss Fatemeh Keyvani, Vice President. She was with me all the time acting as a translator. Also my thanks to Miss Tabrizifar Faeze and Mr. Afshin Badiee, ITTF Development Officer for Asia; they were present in the hall a lot of time and provided everything I needed. Most importantly, my thanks to the coaches who helped me a lot during this camp.” Andreja Ojstersek Urh

Notably, educational sessions were held. Amir Amidi and Dr. Narges Malmiri, both psychologists, addressed the group. Amir Amidi spoke on the topics of hit training and annual planning, for Dr. Narges Malmiri the subject matter was comparing the development of players from seven to 20 years of age.

The boys and their coaches in Tehran with Afshin Badiee, the Development Officer for the Asia Table Tennis Union (fourth from left) and (fifth from left) Andreja Ojstersek Urh (Photo: courtesy of Andreja Ojstersek Urh)


Iran: Garousizadeh Mohmad, Shishehgarha Mohsen, Peyman Kyanoosh, Shamsshahrbabaki Omid Rayabi Fatemeh, Bonyadi Fatemeh, Agin Elnaz and Ranjbar Nasim. (Shamsshahrbabaki Omid isresponsible for Hopes Programme for boys in Iran),

Turkmenistan: Ahmedov Rashid

Kazkhstan: Zakharov Vladislav, Esimkhanov Erzhan and Rakhmetova Farida

Turkmenistan: Jumanov Alibek and Allanazarov Ylyas

Kazakhstan: Kurmangalliyev Alan, Mamay Abdula, Serikbai Nazyim and Usipbayeva Aida

Iran: Samadi Mohamadamin, Najafi Matin, Neshati Mohamadreza, Hakima Sina, Farmani Dina, Sobhanizadeh Mona, Sobhanizadeh Mobina, Mirshafiei Heliya.

High Performance and Development 2018 ITTF Hopes Athletes Hopes Andreja Ojstersek Urh