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Honours shared, titles for Qatar, Tunisia, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain at Arab Team Championship

Seven days of action, play at the 2016 Arab Club Championships concluded in the Tunisian town of Hammamet on Monday 29th August with Qatar and Tunisia capturing the principle titles on offer.

Represented by Li Ping, Ahmed Al-Mohannadi and Fahed Almughanne; Qatar secured the Men’s Team crown; Tunisia fielding the trio of Safa Saidani, Saher Othmane and Rawia Ben Ameur emerged as the Women’s Team champions.

Li Ping, the backbone of Qatar's victory in Hammamet (Photo: Hesham Kacentini)

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

However for both it was a testing journey to the top step of the podium with Qatar being grateful for the services of Li Ping in the title deciding contest in opposition to Tunisia.

He beat both Adem Hmam (14, 12-10, 11-9) and Oussama Chaieb (11-2, 11-6, 11-4) in a three matches to two success. The one remaining win for Qatar was secured by Ahmed Al-Mohannadi; in the second match of the fixture he overcame Oussama Chaieb (11-5, 11-6, 11-4); for Tunisia, their wins came in the third and fourth matches of the contest as a revival was mounted.

Thameur Mamia accounted for Fahed Almughanne (15-13, 11-8, 14-12), Adem Hmam overcame Ahmed Al-Mohannadi (11-7, 9-11, 6-11, 11-8, 11-8).

Ahmed Al-Mohannadi vital to Qatari success (Photo: Hashem Kacentini)

Gold for Qatar, silver for Tunisia; it was bronze for Saudi Arabia. In the third place play-off contest, the Saudi Arabian trio of Ali Alkhadrawi, Abdulaziz Al-Abbad and Akram Al-Ghamdi overcame the Algerian trio of Sami Kherouf, Naim Karali and Mohammed Salah Zaidi by three matches to nil.

Marian Alhodaby was in fine form for Egypt in the Junior Girls’ Team event (Photo: Hashem Kacentini)
Match ratio decided

A hard fought contest; life was even harder for Safa Saidani, Saher Othmane and Rawia Ben Ameur in the Women’s Team event.

In a group organised event, they beat the Algerian trio comprising Yasmine Nasri, Lynda Loghraibi and Widad Nouari by three matches to one but later suffered a three-two defeat at the hands of Qatar’s Maha Faramazi, Ai Mohamed and Noora Al-Abri.

Success for Qatar but in their concluding contest it was defeat at the hands Algeria; a three-two result being the outcome.

Thus match ratio determined the outcome; it was first place for Tunisia (5:4), with Qatar in second spot (5:5) and Algeria third (4:5).

Three titles secured

Success for Qatar and Tunisia but the most successful nation on duty at the end of proceedings was Egypt. They secured three titles and came very close to a fourth.

The combination of Amira Yousry, Marwa Alhodaby and Mariam Alhodaby won the Junior Girls’ Team title finishing in first place in a group organised event. Second place went to the Tunisian outfit comprising Fadwa Garci, Abir Haj Salah and Islam Wenaiss with Algeria’s Yassamine Bouhenni, Loubna Djedjik and Hiba Feredj in third place.

Cadet gold

Similarly Egypt enjoyed success in both the Cadet Boys’ Team and Cadet Girls’ Team competitions.

Marwan Abdelwahab, Ahmed Elborhamy and Abdelrahaman Dendan combined to win the Cadet Boys’ Team title beating the Qatari trio of Abdulaziz Al-Abdulla, Nawaf Al-Malki and Abdulaziz Mohd by three matches to nil at the final hurdle.

Third place went to Tunisian outfit formed by Youssef Ben Attia, Aboubaker Bourass and Khaid Sta; in the bronze medal contest they overcame the Algerian formation of Abdelbasset Chaichi, Azzeddine Lazazi and Abderrahmane Sebia by three matches to two.

Top spot for the boys, it was the same for their female counterparts in the Cadet Girls’ Team competition. In a group organised event, Eman Taha, Rinad Fathy and Malak Khaled finished in first place ahead of Tunisia’s Manel Baklouti, Fadwa Garci and Samar Hichri with the Algerian trio of Malissa Nasri, Houda Nourhane Taguercifi and Hadjee Tahmi in third spot. Success in group organised event

Meanwhile, in the two remaining events, it was success for Saudi Arabia and Bahrain.

“It is very difficult to describe my feelings when I raised the Saudi flag high in the Arab Championship. The preparations for this tournament were very good. I played in the Croatian Open as well as attending a training camp in Saudi Arabia. I went with my team to China and Hungary to prepare well. Tension was present in all the matches because I don’t accept losing at all. “ Abdulaziz Bu Shulaybi after the Under 21 Men’s Team final"

Ali Alkhadrawi spearheaded Saudi Arabia’s Under 21 Men’s Team success (Photo: Hashem Kacentini)

Represented by Abdulaziz Bu Shulaybi, Ali Alkadrawi and Muhamed Alsharif; in group organised competition, Saudi Arabia won the Under 21 Men’s Team title. They finished ahead of Bahrain represented by Alyas Alyassi, Rashed Sanad and Sayed Ali Mabfoodh with the Tunisian outfit comprising Thameur Mamia, Chouab Lagha and Nadim Ben Mekki in third spot.

“Winning is a great feeling. I am looking forward to playing in more tournaments to gain experience. Tactical attacking play was key to winning today. Ali Alkhadrawi after winning the Under 21 Men’s Team title"

Dramatic contest