DOHA-The 2019 International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) World Tour Platinum Qatar Open will kick off today at Ali Bin Hamad Al Attiyah Arena.
The tournament will run till Sunday with the participation of 275 seeded players from 51 countries including five Arab countries � Qatar, Kuwait, Lebanon, Yemen and Iraq. The tournament carries a total prize pot of $300,000.
Details on the tournament were revealed during a press conference which was attended by Khaleel al-Mohannadi, president of Qatar and Arab table tennis associations, and the first vice-president of both Asian Table Tennis Federation and ITTF, Ali Sultan al-Muftah, assistant secretary of the federation and head of the tournament, ITTF CEO Steve Dainton, ITTF executive vice-president Bruce Burton, and members of the organising committee.
Qatar's national team includes Ahmed al-Awlaqi, Abdulrahman al-Naggar, Abdulla al-Sada, Fahed al-Mughanne, Abdulaziz al-Hajaji, Ahmed Khalil El Mohannadi, Mohamed Abdulwahhab.
The women's team will comprise Maha Faramarzi and Aia Mohamed.
Al-Mohannadi said the federation always aims to organise the Qatar Open in the best way possible, revealing that the players' accommodation will include a training hall for the first time. He added that the federation is currently reviewing the possibility of holding next year's tournament in Lusail as the number of participating countries increase to 60.
Al-Muftah said the organising committee has completed all the required preparations to hold a great event.
Dainton said reaching the 24th edition of the tournament and sustaining it is not easy. He said setting up a training hall for the players in the hotel for the first time in any tournament is a new facility for players and a great idea.
He said the organisation of all ITTF meetings in Qatar has been easy and all past events have been successful which shows the strength of the Qatari organisation.
Burton also expressed his delight for being in Qatar and for being charge of the referee development. He added that it has been a pleasure to be in Doha to discuss the referees' preparations for the Olympics and the World Cup in Hungary.
Source: Qatar Olympic Committee