Lebanon’s Maria Chedid through to women’s singles quarterfinal on World Championships debut

Aged just 19, Lebanon’s Maria Chedid qualified for the quarterfinals of the women’s singles competition at the 2021 Teqball World Championships on Thursday with a record of three 2-0 wins against opponents from Czech Republic, Bulgaria and Ukraine and one defeat against Hungary’s Anna Izsak, the top seed in the competition.

Speaking to FITEQ at the conclusion of her group stage matches on Thursday, Chedid described the World Championships in Gliwice as “huge”, adding: “I didn’t think it would be this big! I’m very impressed by how well organised it is.”

Chedid added that she expects her participation at the event to contribute to the development of the sport in her country, “because now the media is covering my results and the results of my friends, so I think the sport will now be more famous in Lebanon.”

Describing the World Championships as “a huge opportunity for me to represent my country,” Chedid continued: “With the crisis affecting my country, it feels good to come and represent Lebanon in such a growing sport.”

With her final year as a university student still to come, Chedid sees great potential for the sport to develop among her contemporaries. “Everyone is stopping me and asking, ‘Where are the tables? Where can we play?’, she says, ‘so I think it will become even more popular.”

Chedid was already a football player with a team in Tripoli, but her potential as a teqer was spotted and she was invited to try the sport. “As soon as I tried it, I became addicted to the sport! It’s also beneficial for your control in football. I became better at football because of Teqball, which is an added bonus.”

Looking ahead, Chedid says that, thanks to the World Championships, she will be “more motivated to train and participate in more international events”, adding, “I want to try to introduce the sport to all of my teammates in football at university.”

First, though, there is the matter of her last eight match later today against third seed Natalia Guitler of Brazil, one of the sport’s leading stars after winning the 2019 mixed doubles.

10 Dec 2021