ABU DHABI 18 October 2019: The UAE men’s table tennis team has advanced 15 spots in the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) global rankings.
According to the ITTF, the UAE ranked 86th position in the ‘Senior Men’ world team rankings this October, compared to 101st place during the same period two years ago.
This progress can be attributed to the country’s participation in international tournaments and events, most notably the West Asia Table Tennis Championship recently held in Jordan. The UAE team taking part in the event took home the gold medal in the Under-21 category and the silver medal in the youth category. The UAE men’s team also participated in the 2019 ITTF-ATTU Asian Table Tennis Championships held in Indonesia in September 2019, said Wam.
The UAE Table Tennis Association, UAETTA, is currently focusing on enabling its young teams, in a bid to prepare stronger future teams to make the UAE a leading competitor in the Gulf and West Asian regions.
Hassan Al Zarouni, UAETTA Secretary-General, said that UAE teams are currently preparing to participate in upcoming club tournaments, and the UAE team will be represented by last year’s league winners, the Al Wasl Club, as well as second-place Al Nasr.
UAE youth and junior teams will participate in the ITTF Junior Circuit Premium Oman Junior and Cadet Open, which will take place in Muscat from 24th to 27th October, Al Zarouni added.
Regarding the decision of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan to enable four new categories to participate in local tournaments, he explained, “We have 18 clubs in the country and we have allowed these categories to participate in other local tournaments. There is also significant support for all age groups, and we have established the appropriate legal framework and are expecting good results in the future.”
As for the UAE women’s team, he noted, “We are now forming women’s teams in various age categories and we hired a coach with significant international experience. We hope to have a junior girls’ team within the next three years.”