2018 Oman Club TT Championships: Seeb emerges champion, Mandhari claims treble
Seeb Club reigned supreme at the 2018 Oman Club TT Championships as it stayed unbeaten to clinch the coveted men's title at the Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex (SQSC) on Sunday.
Doubling the joy for Seeb was the exploits of its key player, Haitham al Mandhari, who secured two individual titles to add to his team crown.
H E Dr Essam al Rawas, Vice-President of the Public Authority for Craft Industries (PACI), was the chief guest and gave away the awards in the presence of Oman Table Tennis Committee (OTTC) chairman Abdullah Bamkhalef, H H Sayyid Melek al Said, Seeb Club board member and other officials.
The dominance of Seeb can be gauged from the fact that it defeated all its seven rival clubs to top the table with 14 points.
Spearheaded by captain and experienced captain, Asad al Raisi, the team also had in its ranks, Zaid Yousef, a Jordanian professional and 2016 Salalah International TT tournament champion, Jihad al Riyami and Al Khalil al Brashadi.
This was the first time that the OTTC had allowed domestic clubs to hire a professional player for the championship.
Out of the eight clubs in fray in the men's category, seven opted to rope in professionals from Jordan, India, Egypt, Syria and Yemen.
Saham, which had Egyptian Ali Lasheen in its ranks, finished runner-up with 13 points while Dhofar, which had Ahmed Helmy from Egypt as its pro, came third with 11 points.
Mandhari won both the national youth and men’s individual crowns by getting the better of Saham's Nasser al Balushi (3-1) and Muhannad al Balushi (3-1) respectively.
Besides the individual summit clashes, the championships also featured clubs competing in the junior and cadet team categories.
Saham swept both the team titles with an impressive Dhofar taking the runner-up spot in the junior category, followed by Al Ittifaq Club. In the cadet team event, Ittifaq was runner-up and Ibri picked the bronze.
On the concluding day of the domestic TT season, 12 Omani referees were awarded the ITTF international badges.
Speaking after the awards ceremony, H H Sayyid Melek al Said said, “The emphasis of the club has been for allround sports development. The fruit of our mission is visible as Seeb excels in multi-sports national championships. I am happy that the players have won the trophy and congratulate them, coaching staff and the board for the success.”