Experience gathered at Alberta Open

Kamran Idrees knows how to get things started on the right foot.

Kamran Idrees knows how to get things started on the right foot.

Competing in his first table tennis tournament, the Alberta Open in Calgary a week ago, Idrees finished first in the novice and also went two-for-six in the under-500 points category.

“I just started table tennis one year ago, so I wasn’t sure if I would be OK in the U-500,” said Idrees. “But that was a new challenge, a new experience for me to play and have fun.”

In the novice finals, Idrees managed to overcome a two-game deficit to win in five, taking the fifth in extra points, 12-10.

Although no other Whitehorse Table Tennis Club members reached the top tier of a podium, others had comparable success and acquired experience from the trip.

Teammate Mustafa Syed actually had better results in the under-13 than he did in the novice singles, finishing second.

“It was a good experience playing with different players,” said Mustafa. “There’s a lot of better players there than here.”

Partnered with Idrees in the U-600 doubles, Malkolm Boothroyd started by going two-for-three in a round-robin, but failed to advance to the finals despite being tied for first.

“Because of the way the games broke down we did not advance in that event, which was disappointing,” said Boothroyd. “But we did pretty well to win the games that we did, so we’re happy with that.”

Competing in a variety of singles divisions, including the highly skilled open category, Boothroyd managed to produce a 6-7 singles record overall. However, for Boothroyd, success isn’t necessarily measured by wins.

“Maybe my best results were not the games that I won but the games that I lost against some pretty hot players,” said Boothroyd. “I won some points I may not have won a couple years ago.”

In the open singles event Boothroyd reached the quarter-finals of the consolation round.

Another to place in the top three was Zain Syed, cruising into third in novice singles. Syed lost in the semifinals against his friend and teammate, Idrees, in five games.

“It was pretty intense because it was for the finals,” said Zain. “It was tight—lots of deuces, lots of ties.”

Dave Zheng, competed in the U-600 and U-1000 and in the U-1200 and U-600 doubles, but failed to place.

“I won only one match in the under-600, but I had a lot of close matches,” said Zheng. “I did better than I thought I would.

“One out of six doesn’t sound that good, but I had fun.”

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