04 Aug 2022
Past and present Aspire Academy student-athletes won all six of the gold medals that Qatar claimed at the recent West Asia Junior Table Tennis Championships in Jordan.
The Qatar team also won two silvers and seven bronze, with four of those third-place finishes claimed by current or former Aspire Academy student-athletes.
Aspire Academy’s table tennis coach Peter Karlsson has said that his players exceeded his expectations at the tournament.
Karlsson said the results prove that the work he and his team are doing at the Aspire Academy is putting the athletes on the right path.
“Overall the results confirm that our strategy and processes are working,” he said.
“We are on a positive trajectory and we will continue with our programme. There are always small adjustment that need to be made but the direction will be the same.
“Our players are still very young but their willingness and commitment will play an important role in the future of our team and I see a very bright future.”
Mohammed Sulaiti, who starts full-time at Aspire later this month, was one of the stars of the team in Jordan as he won 3 medals in the under-13 category.
The youngster claimed gold in both the singles and doubles as well as a bronze in the team event.
“Sulaiti was a very positive surprise for me especially as he will play in the under-13’s next year as well,” Karlsson explained.
“He has been in pre-Aspire group that we have with the Qatar Table Tennis Federation, he is a very intelligent player and with improved footwork as well as physical fitness I see a huge future for him.
Sultan AlKuwari also claimed two golds in Amman as he won the under-15 singles title and the team title alongside fellow Aspire Academy student-athletes Rawad AlNaser, Ahmed Korani and newcomer Obad Al Abdulla.
The under-15’s success came despite all the players still only being 14-years-old and means the same team can compete at this level again next year.
There were also medals at both under-17 and under-19 level for Aspire student-athletes and graduate Ahmed Jabbar.
“The golds in the under-17 and under-19 doubles were another positive for me,” Karlsson added.
“I know that our players are very capable but to perform at their best at the right time is impressive – that is the mindset of a champion.”
A special mention for Khalid AlYafei as he won doubles gold at under-17 level and then helped the under-19 team claim bronze.
Medals won by Aspire student-athletes:
U13 Double: Yousif Abdalla/Mohammed Sulaiti
U13 Single: Mohammed Sulaiti
U15 Team: Sultan AlKuwari, Rawad AlNaser, Ahmed Korani, Obad Al Abdulla
U15 Single: Sultan AlKuwari
U17 Double: Khalid AlYafei/Yousef Magdy
U19 Double: Abdullah Abdulwahhab/Ahmed Jabbar (Graduate)
U13 Team: Yousif Abdalla, Mohammed Sulaiti, Abdulaziz Al Abdulla
U15 Single: Ahmed Korani
U17 Single: Khalid AlYafei
U19 Team: Abdulla Abdulwahhab, Ahmed Jabbar, Khalid AlYafei, Ali Hamza
NB: Mohammed Sulaiti, Abdulaziz Al Abdulla and Obad Al Abdulla are all set to begin with Aspire later in August.