Qatar’s Table Tennis Player, Ayah Magdi lost to Zihang Mo of Canada in the preliminary competitions of the event at Olympic Games after showing a wide-praised performance on Saturday.
Playing her first match at the Olympic Games, Ayah lost to Mo of Canada 11-3, 11-7, 11-6, 11-3 at the ExCel Arena. Mr. Adham Sharara, the president of the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF), Saturday urged Qatar to persist with young talent as the Gulf State aims for better results in the game.
Sharara, after watching Qatar’s Ayah Magdi lose her debut match against Zhang Mo on day one of the 2012 Olympic Games yesterday, said: “There are many positives in this win. One, Ayah is a young player. She has time on her side. Two, if such players are persisted with and trained well, they would bring success in the future.”
“I am sure with more experience she would improve. There’s no need to feel disappointed. I know that Qatar has been staging some spectacular table tennis events for many years now. Their players are good,” Sharara said.
“Qatar players, especially the young ones, need experience,” he added. “We have to be patient but eventually it (the success) would come.
“I am a regular visitor to Qatar. I have seen the sports vision the Emir, His Highness Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani has outlined for the youth in the country. Table tennis is one of the many sports that this country is trying to develop all the time,” the ITTF chief said. “Qatar has many top class facilities.”
Khaleel Al Mohannadi, President of Qatar Table Tennis Association (QTTA), said: “Ayah is a promising talent. She’s the number one player in the GCC. She has played well in the recent past. With a bit of more experience, she would go places. She’s young and can learn quickly. Playing here in the Olympic Games will help her in the future.”
He added: “I hope by the time the next Olympic Games (Rio de Janeiro in 2016) arrive, Ayah and players like her would be ready to win.”
Ayah, 17, said: “I am disappointed that I lost the match but my target is to qualify for the Rio Olympic Games in 2016. I want to win an automatic berth. I know the international standards are not easy for a player like me but with more matches and tournaments, I am confident I will improve my game.”
She added: “I never knew that table tennis was so popular with the fans. There was such a big crowd to watch the players in action today. But I loved being in the Athletes Village and to see the Games in person.”
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