- Independent Journalism From Today's Armenia
March 5, 2004

Sport: Table tennis team goes on a winning streak

The Armenian Men's table tennis team is among 86 teams participating in the 47 th World Table Tennis Team Championships in Doha , Qatar this week.

The team of four players - David Sargsyan, Murad Asatryan, Mesrop Ghukasyan and Samvel Vardanyan - have won all of their group matches so far in the fourth division of the championships. They are in line to finish in 48 th place in the world.

The Armenian team is competing in Group L with Algeria , Lebanon , Tajikistan and hosts Qatar . They have beaten all of their opponents, winning 10 out of 12 games in total along the way.

The results are:

Armenia – Qatar 3-2
Armenia – Algeria 3-0
Armenia – Lebanon 3-0
Armenia – Tajikistan 3-0

The championships are structured in a complicated way, which explains why Armenia can gain only 48th place in the rankings at best. It is divided into five divisions according to January's world computer rankings: Championship, First, Second, Third and Fourth.

Teams placed in the Championship Division battle it out for 1st to 12 th places. The First Division teams compete for 13th to 24th, Second Division teams for 25th to 35th places, and Third Division for 36 th to 47th.

The Fourth Division teams are ranked from 48 th to 86 th in the world . They are organised into eight groups and the winners of each group earn the right to compete for places 48 to 55 in the championships.

Armenia , which is currently 103rd in the International Table Tennis Federation rankings, will battle it out for the best places with the winners of the other seven groups this weekend.

Tennis (ATP Tour)

Sargis Sargsyan, Armenia's only representative in ATP Tour competitions, suffered a 3-6 1-6 defeat to Dutchman Sjeng Schalken, seeded eight, in the first round of the Dubai Tennis Championships this week

David Nalbandyan, the Argentine-Armenian player, also crashed out in the first round despite being the fourth seed. He lost to Finland 's Jarkko Nieminen 3-6 4-6.

Sargsyan and Nalbandyan collected one race point each and earned $7,580 from the tournament. Sargsyan is 51 st in the ATP ranking with 27 points from six tournaments, while Nalbandyan holds 18 th place with 50 points.


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