by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Predictably, life was tough on the morning of Friday 9th February in his opening contest in the Cadet Boys’ Singles event; he was beaten by Saudi Arabia’s Khalid Alshareif (11-2, 11-1, 11) physically a much stronger opponent.
However, most importantly, in his very first international tournament, there was a smiling face.
“Returning service was difficult; for me I like to play forehand top spin. I really like playing matches and I hope that if I continue to work really hard then one day I can become a champion.” Moayd Al Mutawa
Sitting courtside advising the eight year old was Saeed Alkarousi, he works alongside Mohammed Atoum, the man very much at the helm of proceedings at the 2018 Oman Junior and Cadet Open.
“He is a confident young man, he gives his best; for me his backhand is very good.” Saeed Alkarousi
Moayd Al Mutawa, who has been playing table tennis for 18 months, attends training at the Sultan Qaboos Sport Complex, the venue for the current tournament.
“We have a group of some 12 players all under 12 years of age; now the task is to teach backhand and forehand. We are moving in the right direction. The players need more practice but in the next two or three years I think we will be much more competitive.” Mohammed Atoum
Under the care of Mohammed Atoum, the young players are in good hands, he is a very calming influence.
“The important fact is the young players have fun and enjoy table tennis; that they love the sport. Now they need to learn.” Mohamed Atoum
I look forward to seeing the bright eyed Moayd Al Mutawa in the future; especially at the 2028 Oman Junior and Cadet Open.