She is simply 17-years-old and might be flying the UAE flag at this month’s Desk Tennis Asian Cup, which is able to happen on the Dubai World Commerce Centre from April 28-30.
Noura Al Maazmi took up the game professionally 5 years in the past and is now a key determine within the Sharjah Girls Membership squad in addition to the UAE nationwide crew. Initially a chess participant, Al Maazmi switched to desk tennis and has by no means regarded again. Impressed by the Chinese language gamers, who’ve dominated the game for many years, the Emirati teenager is trying ahead to rubbing shoulders with them on the upcoming Asian Cup.
Sport360 caught up with Al Maazmi to seek out out extra about her desk tennis journey.
How did you begin taking part in desk tennis, what attracted you to the game?
Earlier than I began taking part in desk tennis, I used to be within the UAE’s chess nationwide crew. I beloved the sport however it wasn’t actually me, I actually needed a sport that challenged me each bodily and mentally. My dad and mom had been at all times eager for me to take part in camps throughout faculty holidays and at one of many camps there was desk tennis – that is the place I first encountered the sport which was at Sharjah Girls Membership.
When and why did you determine on taking part in desk tennis professionally?
I’ve been taking part in desk tennis professionally for about 5 years now. As soon as I used to be launched to it, I instantly loved the sport and was desirous to be taught extra.
My first coach, coach Lee, on the membership, noticed that I had the potential to succeed in a sure degree within the sport. Coach Lee is from China, a rustic actually main in desk tennis and the truth that she believed in me, and in what I may obtain sooner or later, actually spurred me on to take desk tennis to the following degree.
What are your best achievements to date within the sport?
I received my first gold medal on the Ramadan Event that came about in Sharjah Girls Membership within the Underneath-18 class in 2015. I’ve additionally received the crew silver medal and doubles bronze medal on the 2013 Asian Arab College Desk Tennis Championships in Abu Dhabi, and silver and bronze medals on the GCC Video games in 2013 within the UAE. Final 12 months I received bronze on the 2015 Arab Ladies Sports activities Event in my dwelling metropolis of Sharjah which was a terrific second on dwelling floor.
Should you needed to decide one spotlight to date in your profession, what wouldn’t it be?
Taking part within the 2013 ITTF World Desk Tennis Championships in Paris was a spotlight when it comes to publicity to worldwide gamers. Nonetheless, when it comes to my private achievements, the best has been the GCC event in 2013.
How do you assume we are able to get extra Emirati ladies collaborating in sport?
Beginning with younger youngsters in school is essential. It’s a must to get youngsters hooked on sport from a younger age. Additionally, taking desk tennis as instance, we don’t have that many golf equipment that provide the game for girls right here within the UAE.
For my part, if we had extra golf equipment, not solely would we’ve a stronger league within the nation, but in addition our nationwide crew can be stronger after we face competitors overseas.
Has your loved ones at all times been supportive of you doing sport?
My household has at all times been very supportive of me taking part in desk tennis. Sadly, within the UAE, not many households are very supportive of females collaborating in sport. However Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak has at all times been eager on getting UAE ladies to take part in all the things. You’ll be able to see now that there are excessive government positions held by Emirati ladies. Thankfully, desk tennis is an aesthetic sport and you’ll compete whereas sporting conservative garments.
What are a few of the bodily calls for of taking part in desk tennis?
Desk Tennis calls for a 50-50 mixture of mind expertise and physique motion. Training for extended intervals of time, a minimum of two hours repeatedly, is vital for sustaining focus on the desk throughout competitions.
When making ready for a event I follow desk tennis 5 days every week for 2 hours at a time, after which do health coaching on prime of this.
What’s your health routine like?
Health is essential with a view to play desk tennis at a excessive degree, and that is what I’m presently specializing in particularly. I do a mixture of cardio, reminiscent of working and biking. Skipping is definitely a terrific cardio exercise which I do usually as a part of my health routine. I additionally combine heavy weight coaching in with the cardio to enhance my power.
What’s an fascinating proven fact that persons are unaware of about desk tennis?
I feel many individuals might be stunned at how thrilling desk tennis will be to look at at an expert degree. With desk tennis, there are numerous totally different parts which you’re managing in a really small area and as I stated it is extremely a lot in regards to the mind in addition to physique actions.
The combination of pace, energy, management and the power to anticipate the following transfer with pace is admittedly difficult and I really assume as soon as anybody begins desk tennis they won’t need to cease.
How do you are feeling about your upcoming participation within the Asian Cup?
I’m very honoured to compete in such tournaments and glad to be representing my nation at a global degree.
I consider that taking part in with increased ranked gamers will assist enhance my very own sport.Desk tennis’ world No1, Liu Shiwen, is taking part in on the Asian Cup, together with different main gamers and I’m keen to fulfill them and be taught extra from them. I’m in fact just a little nervous, as I’m positive all desk tennis gamers are earlier than every match, however I don’t consider I’ll let nerves get in the way in which of my sport.
It’s definitely comforting to play in my very own nation, the place I can put together in my typical setting and keep in my own residence.
How a lot coaching goes into making ready for a contest like this one?
I’m presently in my last 12 months of college and have simply completed my mid-term exams, which has made it difficult to take care of my typical follow ranges. Now exams are out of the way in which, I’m actually specializing in my sport and growing my follow time to a minimum of 10 hours every week, plus health coaching.
Do you will have any hobbies? And what are your plans for the longer term?
I hope to turn into an engineer someday after I graduate from faculty. In fact I additionally plan to proceed taking part in desk tennis at a excessive degree and balancing my research with the game.
In my spare time I additionally get pleasure from taking part in basketball and swimming. However in the mean time desk tennis takes over most of my time so there may be not a lot area for different hobbies.
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