Qatar SC, Al Rayyan to mount strong challenge in Morocco
Top clubs from the region to battle for honours in Arab Championship.
Qatar Sports Club and Al Rayyan will spearhead the Qatari challenge in the 31st Arab Club Table Tennis Championship which gets underway in Agadir, Morocco, on Tuesday. Over 25 clubs from about 13 countries will take part in the competition.
Both Qatar clubs have lifted the title once each. Qatar SC were winners in 2017 and finished second last year while Al Rayyan triumphed way back in 2000 and was the runner-up in 2001.
- QATAR SC: Mohammed Abdul Wahab, Ahmed Khaleel Al Mohannadi, Jan Xian.
- AL RAYYAN SC: Nasser Khalifa, Fahad Mohammed, Abdullah Yalifei, Chen Hao.
Both teams are confident of making an impact this year. Of course, they will find the going tough as top clubs from Egypt, who have dominated the event, will certainly not be easy pickings. Egypt’s Al Ahly SC and Zamalek SC have a remarkable 23 titles between them, Al Ahly alone having won 19.
Qatar SC’s coach Walid Samir said, “We’ve good players in Mohammed Abdul Wahab and Ahmed Khaleeel Al Mohannadi. We also have one of the top professional players from China in Jan Xian. This should help us put up a strong challenge.”
Mohammed and Ahmed were also part of the team that won the title in 2017.
Mohammed said, “I certainly think we’re one of the favourites, having won in 2017 and finished runner-up last year. Having said that, I would like to add that the level of competition is higher this year and we’ll get to know who’ll be our biggest challengers once the competition gets underway.”
Al Rayyan have Chinese Chen Hao as their professional player. All the clubs in the competition are allowed to field one professional player.
“Hao is a good option for us. He has represented his country. Although he has focused more on coaching in the last few years, he has been training hard and we’re hoping he can deliver for us in Morocco,” said Al Rayyan coach Jian Wei.