Brothers Battle in Table Tennis Event Overseas
Alameda Community Learning Center students Kai and Aziz Zarehbin traveled to Orebro, Sweden, last month to take part in the 2018 Swedish Open Table Tennis tournament.
Kai, 14, competed in the junior (18-and-under) and cadet (15-and-under) boys’ divisions, while Aziz, 12, competed in the cadet and mini cadet (13-and-under) boys’ divisions.
Kai lost to Finn Vetvik of Norway in the first round of the junior division and to Felix Kohler of Germany in the first round of the cadet division.
Aziz fared better in the tournament. He lost to Daniel Berzosa of Spain in the first of the cadet division, but won the bronze medal in the mini cadet division. He beat Isak Alfredsson of Sweden in the first round, took down Daniil Bukreev of Russia in the second round and defeated Emil Johnsson of Sweden in the quarterfinal to advance to the semifinal. However, Aziz’s run ended in the semifinal where he succumbed to Gabrielius Camara of the Netherlands. The bronze medal was Aziz’s first international medal at the Swedish Open.
The brothers took part in the division qualification round before competing in the main tournament. Kai finished 2-1 in the junior division qualifiers for second place — the qualifying round was played in round-robin style where each player in a group competes against one another. Kai beat Veeti Valasti of Finland and Basil Alshaya of Saudi Arabia. He lost to Hiroto Shinozuka of Japan. Aziz went 0-3 and finished fourth in the junior division qualifiers, which is why he did not compete in the junior division tournament. He lost to all three of his qualifier opponents: Vetvik, Andersson and Lev Volin of Russia.
Aziz went 3-0 in the cadet qualifying round. He defeated Melker Ostblom of Sweden, Luis Delgado of Puerto Rico and Tim Belta of Belgium. Kai also went 3-0 in the cadet qualifying round with victories over Roman Vinogradov of Russia, Mathis Douin of Belgium and Alexander Mejer of Denmark.
Aziz also went a perfect 3-0 in the mini cadet qualifiers with victories over Richard Cao Jia of Sweden, Martin Froseth of Norway and Talal Almutairi of Saudi Arabia.
More than 40 countries were represented at the Swedish Open. The event is governed by the International Table Tennis Federation. The tournament took place between Feb. 21 and 25 at the Idrottshuset Arena.