The women's table tennis team of the Maldives has received praise from President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih for winning bronze in the ongoing Islamic Solidarity Games 2022. On Thursday in the ongoing Islamic Solidarity Games 2022 in Konya, Turkey, Maldives won bronze in the women's table tennis competition.
President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih commended the athletes on their accomplishment and wished them luck in future competitions as they continue to show the same degree of bravery and resolve. The President rejoiced in the team’s achievement; winning bronze at the Fifth Islamic Solidarity Games, making history in the process.
Speaking about the team's success, Minister of Youth, Sports, and Community Empowerment Ahmed Mahloof said that, a few years ago, no one would have thought the Maldives could make such progress and win a medal at such a significant event. The huge success, he pointed out, was the result of the sport receiving special attention and policy changes.
Minister Mahloof had extended his congratulations to the Maldivian Women's Table Tennis team for winning a bronze medal in the multi-sport international competition, in which 59 nations are taking part. According to the minister, this is the country's sport industry's greatest accomplishment to date.
The Maldives team reached the semi-finals of the Islamic Solidarity Games for the first time this year. Maldives qualified for the semifinals after winning two of the three group-stage matches. The squad was ranked second in their group. Maldives won the group stage against Uganda and Djibouti as a result. Turkey triumphed in game three.
Fathmath Dheema Ali, a table tennis prodigy from the Maldives, participated against Iran in the first singles round of the semi-finals. Dheema was defeated 11–4, 11–8, and 11–2 in the sets. Aishath Rafa Nazim competed in the second singles match and fell short despite putting forth a valiant effort. Iran's player won the sets 11–9, 11–7, and 11–4. Rafa persevered and prevailed 12–10 in the fourth set. But in a fierce fifth round, Rafa was defeated by an Iranian player, who won 11–8.
Iran was the opponent in the final doubles match between Maldivian competitors Rafa and Fathimath Jumana Nimal. Rafa and Jumana were defeated by the Iranian duo, 3 sets to 1. Iran won the opening set 11–5 and Maldives won the second set. Iran, however, won the third and fourth sets 11–4 and 11–5, respectively.
‘ It was heartwarming to have been welcomed back home with a celebration like that. I don’t think any of us fully realized the weight and the level of achievement we got in the Islamic Solidarity Games until the unforgettable reception. We are all very grateful to have that kind of support and encouragement from the government and citizens. These celebrations motivate us to work harder and attain more wins,’ reflects Fathimath Jumana Nimal; Senior National Table Tennis player.
The 2021 Islamic Solidarity Games began on August 9 and will end in Konya, Turkey, on August 18, 2022. The multisport international competition features athletes from the nations that make up the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). With the exception of the 2010 Games, it has taken place every four years since it made its debut in 2005 at Saudi Arabia.