Members of the Oman delegation in Budapest (left to right)Mohammed Humaid Al Kelbani, Abdullah Mohamed Bamakhalef and Sajad Al Lawati (Photo: Leon Libin)
by Ian Marshall, Editor
Orginally staged in Gothenburg in 1982, the home of the World Veteran Championships has travelled far and wide; the most popular destinations being Europe but the event has also being staged in such countries as Australia, Brazil, Canada, China Japan, New Zealand and the United States.
Now there is a new destination; new part of the world bids welcome.
In 2022, the tournament will be staged in the Gulf Area of the world, the destination is Oman, a national association that is rapidly making its presence felt on the international stage.
One year ago, a highly successful Oman Junior and Cadet Open was staged in the capital city of Muscat; this year an equally well received Seamaster 2019 ITTF Challenge Plus tournament was held. Furthermore, later in the year in July, Salalah will host the ITTF World Hopes Week and Challenge.
The fact that Oman has will now host the 2022 World Veteran Championships means that they have completed the full complement from the very youngest in the hopes category, to the most senior in the veteran’s event.
Present in Budapest, the Oman Table Tennis Federation was represented by Abdullah Mohamed Bamakhalef, President; Mohammed Humaid Al Kelbani, Secretary-General and Sajad Al Lawati, Head of the Competition Committee. They secured the vote in favour of Malaysia who were present in the guise of Edward Chua Soon Ann, Vice-President of the Table Tennis Association of Malaysia and his wife Ann.
Oman the destination and there is one player who I am sure can thoroughly recommend Oman as a destination.
In Budapest at the Liebherr 2019 World Championships, matters closed with Mattias Falck receiving the Richard Bergmann Fair Play Award, from Claude Bergeret, a most fitting end to a very special tournament for the 27 year old Swede, who very much against the odds had reached the men’s singles final.
Notably it was the same outcome as earlier in the year; likewise at the Seamaster 2019 ITTF Challenge Plus Oman, he had been the men’s singles runner up.