Oman Open TT meet attracts more than 100 paddlers from 20 nations
More than 100 players from 20 countries are expected to arrive in Muscat when the Oman Fiber Optic Open International Table Tennis Tournament will be held at the Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex (SQSC) from December 7-11.
Speaking to Muscat Daily on Tuesday, Abdullah Bamkhalef, the OTTC chief, said, “We are delighted by the response to the tournament. With more than 100 players from 21 countries [including Oman], we hope to showcase a high level of competition and standard at the tournament.
“Also we expect a boost to our tourism with so many overseas players, some arriving with their families.”
Bamkhalef said that “this is the third international championship in Muscat and the fifth overall in Oman with two held in Salalah during Khareef Festival.”
“However, this is the biggest of all and has the biggest prize-fund with 32 players receiving cash awards,” he said.
The tournament will only feature men's singles with the qualifiers to be held on December 7-8 and the main draw from December 9-11.
The title winner will receive a cash prize of US$7,000 (RO2,695) while the runner-up will take home US$5,000 (RO1,925).
The organisers have said that all the players who make it into the round of 32 will receive a cash prize with the minimum cheque of RO 77 to the players who make it to the round of 32.
The tournament will be played under the latest ITTF (world governing body) rules, according to Sajad al Lawati, the tournament director.
Mohammad Basyoni has been appointed as the chief referee for the event and will be assisted by Hashem al Salmi.
The seeding of players will be based on the ITTF individual ranking of November.
Lawati said that draw of the event will be held at the SQSC on December 6 with the players expected to start arriving on December 4.
Bamkhalef said, “The OTTC has gained good experience in hosting international events and it was only in August that we successfully organised the Arab Cup that was widely appreciated by all the participating nations and officials of the ITTF and Arab Tennis Union.”
Players from the following countries have confirmed their participation. Besides Oman, paddlers from Iraq, Ukraine, Bahrain, Poland, Belarus, Czech Republic, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Slovenia, Sudan, Syria, Serbia, Philippines, Lebanon, India, Nigeria, Egypt, Iran and Italy and Pakistan are taking part.
Another interesting aspect at the event will be the presence of an Iranian international woman referee Nasibeh Delirheravi.