The premier year-ending events will now be called the Seamaster Qatar 2016 ITTF Star Awards which will be held on 8 December, and Seamaster Qatar 2016 ITTF World Tour Grand Finals which will take place from 8-11 December.
“The ITTF is very happy that Seamaster has come on board for our two prestigious end-of-year events,” said President Thomas Weikert. “Seamaster is becoming a very valuable partner for the ITTF after also sponsoring the successful Women’s World Cup earlier this year in USA.”
In addition to being the title sponsor for 2016, Seamaster is also sponsoring the ITTF Star Point award and Breakthrough Star at the table tennis’ night of nights which celebrates the world’s best table tennis players for their achievements in 2016.
The Seamaster Qatar 2016 ITTF World Tour Grand Finals is the season ending finale which had 20 stops in 2016. Only the top 16 men and women with the most points from the 20 World Tour events qualify for the $500,000 event, ensuring only the best table tennis players will be making the trip to Qatar.
Organized by the Women’s Sport Committee of the UAE Table Tennis Association (UAETTA), the aim of the Championship is to promote an active and healthy lifestyle for girls and women of all ages, to raise the profile of the sport, and to increase the number of women participating.
In addition, the Championship will feature the Emirati Players Evaluation Program which targets players for National Team representation, and a Children’s Table Tennis Training Course to introduce the game to young players of all ages and nationalities.
The Championship will be held at Al Wasl Sports Club on Friday 25 November, and is open to players competing in singles in the Under 12, 12-18 and 18+ age groups. Trophies will also be awarded to the Best Emirati Youth Player and the Best Player of the Championship.
Online registration, which will cost 100Dhs, is now open at www.uaetta.mysports.ae. All players are encouraged to enter, and those who register online before the cut-off date of 20 November 2016 will receive a t-shirt and participation certificate. Players who do not register online can still register between 8am-8:30am on the day and will receive a participation certificate.
There will also be a Fitness Zone and a Health Awareness Zone at the Championships to provide information and advice on adopting a healthy lifestyle. For more information go to Facebook UAE Table Tennis Association, or www.Instagram.com/Uaetta
The 41-year-old Nigerian veteran first won the African title in 1992 and her last triumph came in 2002 before her triumph at the ITTF-Africa Championships in Agadir, Morocco.
Oshonaike faced younger opponent Dina Meshref, from Egypt, who has dominated African table tennis in recent years, in the women’s final. It was Oshonaike who made the better start, moving ahead 2-0, before Meshref responded to bring the score level to 2-2. However, age proved to be just a number as Oshonaike won game five and six to clinch the title 11-7, 13-11, 5-11, 9-11, 11-7, 11-7.
After winning the emotional title, Oshonaike stated: “This victory means a lot to me that I can still become African champion despite my age. It shows that nothing is impossible if you put your mind to it.
“I feel great and I am so excited that I can still do it and this is also an inspiration for girls that no matter your age, you can achieve whatever you want to in life.”
In the men’s singles, Egypt’s Omar Assar won the African title for the second time in a row.
The Men’s singles finals match-up between Assar and Quadri Aruna, from Nigeria, was also one that many were looking forward to due to Aruna’s historic run to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games quarter-finals.
The match did not disappoint, with the African stars producing a seven-game thriller, with Assar able to hold his nerve to win 10-12, 11-6, 11-9, 8-11, 12-10, 6-11, 11-9.
After claiming his second consecutive title, Assar stated: “It was really a crazy match because against Quadri, it is always very exciting. I gave my 100 percent concentration and I was listening more to my coach.
“I think Aruna played very well because he was always changing service and he was more aggressive on his forehand. I am so happy retaining the title and I hope I can play better than this in future tournaments.”
Aruna did not go home empty-handed, teaming up with Nigerian team-mate Segun Toriola to defeat the Egyptian pair Lashin El-Sayed and Ahmed Ali Saleh to clinch the men’s doubles title.
Egypt dominated the women’s doubles and mixed doubles events with Dina Meshref partnering her cousin Yousra Helmy to win the women’s doubles title, and also winning the mixed doubles event with Omar Assar.
Egypt completed a memorable African Championships by claiming both the Men’s & Women’s Team titles to add to their success in the individual events.
All attention now turned to the 2016 ITTF World Tour Hybiome Austrian Open, to be held on 9-13 November 2016 in Linz, Austria.