Three major international TT events in Oman next year

October 17, 2018

A file photo of an international table tennis event at the Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex in Muscat

Table tennis in the sultanate is set for a big leap next year as the ambitious Oman Table Tennis Committee (OTTC) has been rewarded for its efficient hosting of top-class tournaments by the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF).

Oman had successfully hosted the ITTF Premium Junior Circuit and the Arab championship earlier this year.

Revealing the details of the major international events to be hosted in Oman in 2019, Abdullah Bamkhalef, the OTTC chairman, said, “It is with great delight and honour to announce that the ITTF has reposed trust and faith in our abilities to host three major events next year.”

Two of the championships will be part of a global ITTF circuit with the 2019 Challenge Plus Oman Open to kick-start in Muscat from March 20-24.

The Challenge Plus is a six-leg series starting with the Portugal Open in Lisbon in February. Oman Open will be the next stop for the US$60,000 prize-money event featuring singles events.

The other stops following Oman will be Pyongyang, North Korea; Lagos, Nigeria; Asuncion, Paraguay; and Markham, Canada.

Following the March tournament, Oman has been made a venue for the International Hopes (U12) Week in Salalah during the khareef season from August 1-8. It will feature top boys and girls from each continent and Oman as host will get an opportunity to field a boy and a girl in the camp.

The third major tournament will be part of the ITTF World Junior Circuit with Muscat hosting the ITTF Junior Circuit Premium Oman Junior & Cadet Open from October 24-28.

Oman is among the nine countries to have been picked by the world body to host the circuit, that aims to spot the best junior talent across the world.

The circuit begins in Manama, Bahrain in February with Muscat being the penultimate stop.


Bid for world veteran championship

Meanwhile, Sajjad al Lawati, OTTC board member, said that Oman is one of the six countries that have bid for the prestigious 21st World Veteran Table Tennis Championships in 2022.

Besides Oman, the other countries that have bid for the biennial championships are Australia, Hungary, Malaysia, Puerto Rico and South Korea.

The decision to award the rights to host the veterans worlds will be taken next year.