by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager
Success contrary to expectations but perhaps it was not a major upset; earlier in the Junior Boys’ Team event, partnering Saudi Arabia’s Khalid Alshareif, in a three-one defeat against Egypt, Alex El Darzi had been the one winner. In the second match of the fixture he had overcome Adham Abdelaa (16-14, 11-13, 11-2, 8-11, 11-9).
“The adrenaline is high, my first ITTF World Junior Circuit tournament, the pressure is great; I just give it my all. I think today I was the better player in the short game, better over the table. Also my attacking play was consistent today; the biggest problem for me was that he played with a lot of spin.” Alex El Darzi
Most certainly Alex El Darzi impressed, a high school student, he lives in Amoiun in the north of Lebanon and travels a distance of some 90 minutes to Beirut twice a week for training in addition to being involved in matches in the local area.
“Today I cannot describe my feelings, so pleased and I must thank my coach.” Alex El Darzi
Throughout Alex El Darzi has been advised by Malek Tawil who was delighted with the performance of the young man under his charge.
“He is dedicated, he is a fighter, mentally he is very good, always he focused.” Malek Tawil
A most noteworthy performance and one that has vastly enhanced his chances for a place in the main draw; players finishing in first and second positions in each group advance to the second stage.