West Asia Development Championships Medal Winners
Shaema Al-Olfi and Aziz Ahmed helped Yemen claim the challenge trophy at the ITF West Asia 13 & under Development Championships which took place in Muscat, Oman on 24 September-3 October.
Forty-six players from 11 countries participated in the two four-day tournaments that followed a one-day training camp which was hosted by the Oman Tennis Association for the second consecutive time.
Al-Olfi, winner of the girls’ singles event in 2010, lifted both girls’ singles titles without dropping a set, defeating last year’s winner Sadaf Vaziri (IRI) in both finals. Vaziri got her revenge in the doubles however, combining with compatriot Saba Dehaghi to defeat Al-Olfi and Kimia Rahmani (IRI) in the final of both girls’ doubles finals.
In the boys’ events, 12-year-old Hazem Naw from Syria took top spot in the first singles and doubles tournaments. He defeated Fares Al-Janahi (UAE) in the final of the singles event before claiming the boys’ doubles trophy with his partner Ali Al-Herz (KUW). The pair ended home hopes by defeating Oman’s Younis Al Rawahi and Abdullah Albarwani in the final.
The second boys’ singles tournament was dominated by players from Yemen who filled the podium places. Aziz Ahmed battled his way through the rounds, overcoming No. 2 seed Al-Janahi in the semifinals before defeating his doubles partner Fahmi Alward in a close three set final. Ahmed and Alward then combined to finish as runners-up in the doubles after losing to Naw and Al-Herz.
The home team showed an impressive improvement in their performance by finishing fifth in the nations’ ranking and winning a silver medal in the boys’ doubles event.
Based on the final rankings from the two events, players from West Asia will be selected to be on the ITF team that participates in Division 2 of the ITF Asia 14 & under Development Championships in January 2013.