Rounds 1 and 2 of this seasons AIM Outreach Championship have proved to be just as popular and competitive as last years.
We have tweaked the format this year so that everyone is in contention for a medal in the afternoon, and our players have responded wonderfully, fighting it out for glory from the first to the last matches of the day.
The AIM Outreach competition has three objectives: participation, competition and education.
Participation is not about just turning up. It’s about getting to play at your level throughout the day. The competition comes from the prizes at stake on the day and the chance to move up the ladder as the season progresses. Finally, these tournaments are a wonderful arena for younger players and beginners to learn about the ups and downs of tournament table tennis.
Round 1 was a solid affair, with 31 players taking part. Many of those returned for round 2 and added to that we had a whole raft of new entries. In fact, 60 young players took part on the day.
Between the first two rounds we now have 68 players on the AIM outreach league table.
Our first Round finished with group wins for Inayah Zasella, Adam Riadi, Aryan Santilale, Andrei Iacob, and Muhamed Shehu. However, the overall champion for the day was last years’ Runner up, Soraya Rahmani Walentynska, who took the gold in Band 1. She had to fight tooth and nail against her brother Yacoub, who took the silver.
Round 2 was a larger affair with 12 groups rather than 6. And thus we ended up with 12 bands in the afternoon.
Band 1 saw Yacoub reverse the result of the first event, beating his sister Soraya into second place. Once again the group was decided by the narrowest of margins and it seems like there is going to be unfinished business between those two for the rest of the season. The battle for Bronze in an incredibly tough group came down to Zack Sarri’s fire versus Inayah Zasella’s precision. Although Zack gained an early advantage Inayah was not fazed and came back from a set down to win 11-7 in the final set.
Band 2 included an unfamiliar face. We are used to seeing Lewis McSween competing in Band A. But a slow start in the morning left him just adrift of the top five. He made up for it by taking the gold medal from Stefan Pop. Lewis had to do it the hard way, having to fight back from a mid-way loss to the unpredictable talents of Adam Riadi, who eventually took the Band B Bronze.
Band 3 provided an opportunity for Hugo Trayanov make a point by winning Gold with a clean sweep of 4 wins. This was the best way to come back after a somewhat disappointing display on Day 1.
Connor Godley did enough to take the Silver while Aryan Santilale was a surprise in third place. Aryan has been quietly moving up the ladder this year and it will be interesting to see how he fares in the higher bands.
Band 4 had a clear winner with Ruby Gandi Bamidele making a clean sweep leaving the rest to fight it out for second place.
Band 5 was a very competitive group with Aiza Ahmed, Julia Dziadkowiec, Alin Popovici, and George Gaynor lining up alongside Round 1 group winner Mohammed Shahu.
In the end it was Aiza who took the gold with 4 wins despite a strong challenge from Julia who won Silver. George took the bronze with two good wins against Alin and Mohammed.
Band 6 saw Denisz Demjan survive both an early scare from Morteza Mir Mohammed, and a hard match against Ethan O’leary, to take the Gold. Ethan and Morteza were left to fight it out for the Silver and Bronze medals, with Ethan coming from behind in their head to head match to take second place.
Band 7 set up Andrei-Alexander Iacob to try and grab a second Gold medal in two tournaments. In the end he had to settle for Silver due to a single loss to eventual group winner Ashkan Aghababaei.
Aron Mustafa sealed the bronze from Amir Zasella in the very last match.
Band 8 was the most competitive of the day with Brody Smith, Daain Hussain, Arisha Hussain, and Andzelina Grigaliunaite trading wins and losses throughout the afternoon.
In the end the four of them remained level until the last two matches of the day. Wins for Broady and Andzelina saw them top the group with 3 wins each.
Eventually, Broady was declared the winner because of his head-to-head, 3-set win against Andzelina.
Bronze was just as hard to decided with Daain and Arisha locked on two wins each. Once again it came down to their head to head clash and that meant that Daain took the Bronze.
Band 8 also provided us with the longest, hardest fought match of the day between Daain and Anzleina, with Anzleina winning 20-18, 10-12, 11-9.
Although the Band 9 Gold went to the excellent Rafael Hanzel-Wacker, it was Silver medalist Olivia Gebarska who had to work the hardest in this group, going the full distance against her two closest rivals.
A loss to Rafael was balanced out by a win against Shane Winter-Kokoli which meant that Shane had to settle for Bronze.
In Band 10 Ruby Wicksted was in a mean mood, charging to the gold medal without dropping a set. Silver went to Maryam Tesfaldet who saw off the challenge of Laith Osmin, who had to settle for Bronze.
Band 11 was our only uncompleted band of the day with time running out before the last matches could be finished. Due to this and to a number of the scores being entered incorrectly by the players, we have revised the result as follows. David Osadebe, Suhayla Ali Farah and Emily Cooper are joint winners of the group.
Band 12 was won by one of our three Zak’s, Zakariya Osmin took the gold with 4 wins out of 4, beating Freddie Portsmouth and Hibat-Allah Mahmoud to Silver and Bronze.
So after 2 rounds the table can be seen here. The top 10 currently stands as follows with Soraya and Yacoub at the top of the table. We still have 2/3rds of the season to go so there is still plenty to play for.
|Soraya Rahmani Walentynska||116|
|Yacoub Rahmani Walentynske||112|
|Serene Rahmani Walentynska||84|