It was a mixed fortune for African players at the ongoing ITTF World Championships holding in Dusseldorf, Germany as Nigeria, Tunisia and Egypt recorded victories, while Algeria, Congo Brazzaville and Cote d’Ivoire suffered defeats.
The first African team to experience defeat was Algeria with the pair of Islem Laid and Naim Karali losing 3-0 in the mixed doubles event but Tunisia’s Fadwa Garci and Kerem Ben Yahia recorded a convincing win against their opponent in the same event.
The men and women players from Cote d’Ivoire were no match to their opponents as they all suffered defeats in the singles and doubles events of the championships.
The biggest casualty in Africa was Congo Brazzaville’s Saheed Idowu, who was beaten 4-1 by Lebanon’s Mohamad Hamie.
However, Nigeria, Egypt and Tunisia were the winning sides on day one of the championship with Olajide Omotayo and Ojo Onaolapo walloping their opponents 4-0 in the men’s singles preliminary while Egypt’s Farah Abdel-Aziz and Yousra Helmy recorded same feat against their opponents in the women’s singles preliminary.
African cadet champion, Tunisia’s Fadwa Garci is having a lifetime experience as 15 year-old kicked off her maiden appearance at the 2017 ITTF World Championships with a 3-1 win in the mixed doubles event.
Fadwa Garci who brought honours to her country with her superb performance at the 2017 ITTF African Junior Championship held in Tunis after conquering the continent beating some of the top seeds to claim the title.
Apart from competing against the best in Germany, Fadwa Garci is hoping to pick a lot of lesson from Dusseldorf.
“This is indeed a good feeling for me playing in my first world championships. My aim in this tournament is to learn technique, tactic and strategy and I will make sure I watch all the matches of my role, China’s Ning Ding. This is a new feeling and experience for my career playing in the colours of Tunisia at the biggest table tennis tournament in the world. I have not seen this kind of setting or atmosphere before and this is another motivation for me in my career.”