11 Aug 2023

Opportunities seized in the Middle East

A full house of titles, Egypt’s Abdelrahman Abdelwahab and Sayed Youssef, alongside Romania’s Ioana-Monica Tepelea emerged the most successful players on duty at the ITTF Saudi Arabia Para Open 2023 when play concluded in Riyadh on Thursday 10th August.

Abdelrahman Abdelwahab secured the men’s singles class 10 title, before partnering Japan’s Arufuahirokazu Tateishi to men’s doubles class 18 gold and Ioana-Monica Tepelea to the top prize in mixed doubles class 20.

The win gave Arufuahirokazu Tateishi a second title, one day earlier he had won men’s singles class 8.

Meanwhile, for Ioana-Monica Tepelea, it completed her trilogy. Earlier, she had partnered India’s Devyani Walhe to women’s doubles class 20 success, having the previous day secured the women’s singles class 7-10 title.

Three titles for Abdelraham Abdelwahab (Photo: Local Organising Committee)
Three titles for Abdelraham Abdelwahab (Photo: Local Organising Committee)

Similarly, there was no stopping Sayed Youssef. After winning men’s singles class 6-7, he won men’s doubles class 14 partnering Saudi Arabia’s Jazaa Al-Shammari, mixed doubles class 14 in harness with compatriot, Hanna Hammad.

Three titles, it was two for Egypt’s Ahmed El-Mahsy, Sameh Eid and Faiza Mahmoud, as it was for the host nation’s Maryam Almyrisl, Iraq’s Rusul Al-Waeili and Slovakia’s Alena Kanova.

Ahmed El-Mahsy claimed the men’s doubles class 4 title partnering Saudi Arabia’s Munahi Bin Libdah, prior to enjoying the same success in mixed doubles class 4, alongside Zahra Al-Tala, also from Saudi Arabia.

Somewhat differently, Sameh Eid partnered Nigeria’s Isau Ogunkunle to men’s doubles class 8 gold, having the previous day claimed men’s singles class 4 gold.

Two titles for Sameh Eid (Photo: Local Organising Committee)
Two titles for Sameh Eid (Photo: Local Organising Committee)

Not to be overshadowed by her colleagues, Faiza Mahmoud, the women’s singles class 5 winner, allied with Hassan Tolba, also from Egypt, to win mixed doubles class 10; Maryam Almyrisl added women’s doubles class 5 gold alongside Egypt’s Fawzia El-Shamy, after having secured the women’s singles class 1 title.

Maintaining the trend, Rusul Al-Waeili, having prevailed in women’s singles class 4, joined forces with Saudi Arabia’s Ghaliah Al-Anazi to win women’s doubles class 10; Alena Kanova, the women’s singles class 2-3 winner concluded her visit to Riyadh by partnering teammate Boris Travnicek to mixed doubles class 7 gold.

Adding to titles, for India’s Sandeep Dangi, Slovakia’s Jan Riapos and Cameroon’s Alex Djitouo, alongside Egypt’s Mamdouh Tamam and Ayman Zanati, it was one apiece in the men’s singles event.

It was the same for Romania’s Gabriela Constantin in the women’s singles, she won class 6.

Gabriela Constantin receives her women's singles class 6 gold medal (Photo: Local Organising Committee)
Gabriela Constantin receives her women’s singles class 6 gold medal, Camelia Ciripan, the silver medallist, applauds (Photo: Local Organising Committee)

Gabriela Constantin commenced play the top seed, a situation that applied to Sandeep Dangi in class 1 and Jan Riapos in class 2; success as predicted. In a similar vein, Mamdouh Tamam, the class 3 winner, commenced proceedings in the no.3 seeded position; however, the successes gained by Ayman Zanati and Alex Djitouo were not to be anticipated.

Ayman Zanati won class 5, overcoming colleague, Hassan Tolba, the top seed in the final (5-11, 11-6, 11-2, 6-11, 11-8). Not seeded but he had pedigree, he had struck gold at the 2019 African Championships in Alexandria.

A similar scenario applied to Alex Djitouo, he did not occupy a seeded place but unlike Ayman Zanati had no previous international experience; he claimed the class 9 title, accounting for top seed, Egypt’s Hassan Hosny (11-5, 11-8, 10-12, 11-6).

Undoubtedly the surprise of the whole tournament. Alex Djitouo is 24 years old, Hassam Hosny, 42 years of age, a player with considerable experience, a host of African Para Championships medals to his name.

A proud moment for Alex Djitouo (Photo: (Local Organising Committee)
A proud moment for Alex Djitouo (Photo: (Local Organising Committee)

Play concluded in Riyadh, attention now turns to Ulsan for the ITTF Korea Para Open 2023, a factor 40 tournament for World ranking points, play in the four-day tournament commences on Friday 18th August.


General News ITTF Saudi Para Open 2023 Para Table Tennis

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