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Nov 26 - Dec 8, 2019
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Qatari paddlers face tough test at continental meet

Mohammed Abdul Wahab and Ahmed Khaleel Al Mohannadi will carry Qatar’s hopes at the Asian Championships.
Mohammed Abdul Wahab (left) And Ahmed Khaleel Al Mohannadi
Mohammed Abdul Wahab and Ahmed Khaleel Al Mohannadi will play the singles and doubles competitions at the Asian Championships in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. File IQ Photo: Vinod Divakaran

A tough field featuring the best in Asia and the world. That is what Qatar table tennis players are up against in the Asian Championships that get underway in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, on Sunday.

Qatar’s Mohammed Abdul Wahab and Ahmed Khaleel Al Mohannadi will take part in the men’s singles and doubles competitions. The tournament is also a qualifier for the Tokyo Olympics but only for the men’s and women’s team events. Qatar are not competing in the team events.

Coach Vitaly Nekvedovic
Qatar coach Vitaly Nekvedovic. Photo: Vijay Michael Raj

Qatar coach Vitaly Nekvedovic was aware of what lay ahead for his players. “It’s a very strong field as the world’s top table tennis players are from Asia. But it’ll also be a good exposure for our players and for sure they’ll have to give off their best”.

The coach said that the Arab Club Championship, which concluded in Morocco a week ago, was good preparation for the Asian meet. Both Mohammed and Ahmed competed in Morocco, representing Qatar SC. “They played tough matches against some good players. That helps just ahead of a major tournament,” said the coach.

Mohammed was looking forward to the exposure that the tournament would provide him. “I’ll be playing some of the best players in the world and it’ll be a big challenge but I’ll take it one match at a time. For sure, I’ll have to focus really hard but it’ll be a good learning experience for me,” he said.