The best African players will on Wednesday May 31, begin their campaign for honours in the men and women singles event of the 2017 ITTF World Championships holding in Dusseldorf, Germany.
From the best ranked African – Aruna Quadri, the journey to the podium will ignite the venue of the championship as the 2014 ITTF Star player has been pitched against Chile’s Gustavo Gomez in the first round of the men’s singles.
Aruna Quadri is hoping to enjoy a lot of support from the German fans following his exploits in the city of Dusseldorf when he stunned the world to become the first African and Blackman to make it to the quarterfinal stage of the ITTF World Cup. Also his performance at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games is still fresh in the memory of the Germans as the Nigeria bundled out German star, Timo Boll in the fourth round of the men’s singles to become the first African to make it to the quarterfinal of the Olympic Games.
Also like Aruna Quadri, Omar Assar is a known face to the Germans as his performance against some top German players in recent time is a testimony to the potential of the African champion. Omar Assar is expected to face Italy’s D. Rech.
Egypt’s trio of El-Sayed Lashin, Ahmed Saleh and Mohammed El-Beiali will battle Austria’s Stefan Fegerl, Denmark’s Jonathan Groth and Russia’s Alexander Shibaev respectively for places in the second round.
In the women’s singles, Nigeria’s Olufunke Oshonaike will face similar situation that panned out for her at the 2015 edition when she was pitched against the eventual champion and world number one – China’s Ning Ding as the African champion will face Asian Champion, Japan’s Miu Hirano in the first round.
Egypt’s Dina Meshref and Yousry Helmy will square up against Chinese Taipei’s duo of Ching-I Cheng and H Cheng in the first round of the women’s singles on Wednesday May 31.