by Ian Marshall & Kabir Nagpal
Brothers but they are very different in their playing style; the most obvious being that Noshad is left handed, Nima is right handed.
Powerful, Noshad is notable for his strong backhand and his improvisation; arguably more than any other current player on the international scene, he is preapared the switch hands in an effort to keep the ball in play.
Quite simply that move underlines his determination; a trait that is the same in the character of Nima. Perhaps not quite as powerful as his elder brother, consistency and a good feeling for the ball are his trademarks.
Present on the international scene since 2009, the year 2012 was very much a watershed for Noshad.
On the ITTF World Tour, he won under 21 men’s singles titles in Germany, Kuwait and most significantly in Morocco; in addition in the North African country, also he secured men’s singles gold.
Similarly, in under 21 men’s singles events, in the Korea Republic and Poland he reached the semi-final stage; in the latter, also he progressed to the men’s singles quarter-finals.
Impressive performances, the outcome was a place in the under 21 men’s singles event the ITTF World Tour Grand Finals in Huangzhou; he finished in runners up spot, losing to Germany’s Patrick Franziska.
However, arguably more significantly, he qualified for the men’s singles event at the London 2012 Olympic Games. Moreover, he acquitted himself most admirably; he beat Australia’s Justin Han prior to causing a most noteworthy upset by ousting Hong Kong’s Tang Peng, the no.19 seed.
One round later, progress was abruptly ended by Germany’s Timo Boll in straight games.
A most promising Olympic debut; four years later in Rio de Janeiro, Noshad was again on duty; this time alongside Nima, the outcome for both a first round men’s singles exit. Noshad was beaten by Slovenia’s Bojan Tokic, Nima by Romania’s Ovidiu Ionescu, after recording a preliminary round auccess when facing Kanak Jha of the United States.
“To me, the Olympics is just the same as other tournaments, I always try to do my best and do what I can do in any championships.” Noshad Alamiyan
Worthy performances at the Olympic Games; at the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta, Noshad very much revived Iranian fortunes.
He secured men’s singles bronze, only the third medal ever for Iran in the table tennis events at the Games.
In 1958 in Tokyo, when table tennis first appeared, bronze was the colour in the men’s team event; later in 1966 in Bangkok, a member of that team, Houshang Bozorgzadeh, who subsequently moved to the United States, claimed the same colour men’s singles medal.
Together and apart
Following in the footsteps of elder brother in the Olympic Games; to some extent it is the same on the ITTF World Tour. Just as Noshad has one such men’s singles title to his credit, it is the same for Nima; he won in 2015 in Belgium.
Success apart and success together; earlier this year they emerged the men’s doubles winners at the 2020 ITTF Challenge Spanish Open in Granada, having one year earlier reached the semi-final round at the 2019 ITTF World Tour Bulgaria Open in Panagyurishte.
Together a major force, the same when apart; notably in 2017 at the fourth Islamic Solidarity Games in Baku, Noshad emerged the men’s singles winner, the player he beat in the final, Nima!
Undoubtedly, they are the main reason why Iran is increasingly able to compete against the elite of Asia; impressively at the 2019 ITTF-ATTU Asian Championships, Iran secured seventh place in the men’s team event.
Now seasoned internationals, Noshad, having made 12 World Championship appearances, Nima present on nine occasions; that experience could prove most valuable for their most immediate goal; to date neither has qualified for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.