Category Archives: Table Tennis

African Table Tennis Teams Battle For Tokyo 2020 Slots

The battle for Africa’s slots in the men and women team events of Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games begins on Wednesday August 21 at the 12th African Games holding in Rabat, Morocco.

18 men’s teams and 12 women’s teams will battle for the continent’s sole slot in the men and women’s event of Tokyo 2020.

The continental powerhouses – Nigeria and Egypt are top seeds in the men and women events with Nigeria men aiming to defend the title they won in 2015, while the Egyptian ladies led by Dina Meshref will also be keen to hold to the title.

African champion Dina Meshref of Egypt

Both teams have been handed an easy ride to the knockout stage with Nigeria drawing Madagascar and Kenya in Group A of the men’s event while Egypt is in Group B alongside Congo DRC and Eritrea.

In the women’s draw, Egypt as the top seed are in Group A with Kenya and Morocco while Nigeria has been pitched against Uganda and Congo Brazzaville in Group B.

The top seven teams in the event will also secure qualification to the 2020 World Team Championships holding in Busan, South Korea.

Aruna Quadri and Segun Toriola

MEN:

Group A (Nigeria, Madagascar, Kenya);

Group B (Egypt, Congo DRC, Eritrea);

Group C (Congo Brazzaville, Mauritius, Angola);

Group D (Algeria, Senegal, Ethiopia); Group E (Togo, Ghana, Djibouti);

Group F (South Africa, Tunisia, Morocco)

Aruna Quadri

WOMEN:

Group A (Egypt, Kenya, Morocco);

Group B (Nigeria, Uganda, Congo Brazzaville);

Group C (Algeria, Mauritius, Congo DRC);

Group D (Tunisia, South Africa, Ethiopia).

Two teams from each group advance to the next stage with the winner in the men and women events qualifying for Tokyo 2020.

Nigeria’s Aruna Quadri Stuns Japanese Star To Hit Semifinal of Bulgaria Open

Aruna Quadri stunned one of the most decorated Japanese stars in table tennis to reach the semi-final round of the ITTF World Tour tagged Bulgaria Open.

Quadri’s Match was the last quarterfinal in the men’s singles and the Bulgarian fans were treated to an exciting moment as there were unbelievable scenes in Panagyurishte after the Nigerian Table Tennis hero knocked Japanese no.4 seed Jun Mizutani in a seven-game thriller.

Aruna Quadri

After the Match The 2019 Nigeria Open champion expressed his appreciation to the Bulgarian fans for their unrelenting support during the encounter.

Trailing 1-2 on games, Aruna Quadri who is well known for his comebacks and his fighting spirit shone through on this occasion, saving two game points in game four before going on to recover from 4-9 down to win game five 11-9.

Mizutani responded well to claim game six, forcing a decider: 9-6 down Mizutani refused to give up the fight, going on to hold two match point opportunities.

However, Aruna Quadri showed nerves of steel, saving both points before going on to steal the win (8-11, 11-9, 6-11, 12-10, 11-9, 4-11, 13-11).

In an earlier quarterfinal tie, Portuguese qualifier Marcos Freitas is through to the last four in Panagyurishte thanks to a fantastic victory over no.15 seed Chinese Taipei’s Chuang Chih-Yuan.

At the start of play it was the Chinese Taipei player who looked good for the win, claiming the opening game by an eight point margin but Freitas also enjoyed his spells of dominance over the course of the match.

Ultimately it was game seven that produced the main story: 6-7 down Freitas opted to call a timeout, a decision that proved useful as the Portuguese star fought back to win the decider 11-9 and earn his spot in the penultimate round (3-11, 11-2, 11-3, 11-13, 4-11, 11-5, 11-9).

Aruna Quadri

Japanese teenage sensation Tomokazu Harimoto takes his place in the semi-finals of the men’s singles draw following a tight affair with fellow Japanese compatriot Takuya Jin.

Down 3-0 on the scoreboard Jin needed to form a response and one did arrive with the qualifier pulling a game back. Then in game five Jin held game point advantage on two occasions but failed to convert as top seed Harimoto held his nerve, sealing the win by a 4-1 margin (11-7, 11-6, 14-12, 7-11, 13-11).

German Dimitrij Ovtcharov’s men’s singles run has ended in the quarter-finals stage in Panagyurishte after the second seed lost out to world no.110 China’s Zhao Zihao in an exciting battle.

The 22-year-old pen-hold grip player from China started strongly and deservedly gained a healthy 2-0 lead.
Up against the ropes Ovtcharov raised his performance, winning two of the next three games to reduce the deficit to 3-2. In game six the two players gave it their all but there could only be one winner and that proved to be Zhao Zihao (11-6, 12-10, 8-11, 11-6, 5-11, 11-9).

In the semifinal tie scheduled for Sunday August 18, Aruna Quadri will face China’s Zhao Zihao, while Portugal’s Marcos Freitas will take on Japan’s Tomokazu Harimoto.

Nigeria’s Quadri May Battle Egypt’s Assar in Semifinal at Africa Table Tennis Cup

From the knockout draw conducted on Saturday August 3, number one seed, Aruna Quadri of Nigeria may slug it out against Egypt’s Omar Assar in the semifinal of the men’s singles at the 2019 ITTF Africa Cup holding at the Molade Okoya-Thomas Hall of Teslim Balogun Stadium.

From the eight groups, two top players from the groups advanced to the knockout stage and Quadri has been drawn against Congo DRC’s Gedeon Kassa, while Assar will battle Congo Brazzaville’s Christ Bienatiki.
The knockout stage of the tournament starts on Sunday August 4, 2019.

But Senegal’s Ibrahima Diaw who is making his debut at the continental Cup, believes he can stand out in Lagos.

“I am really impressed with the quality of play and the organisation, which shows that Africa has come of age. The condition of play is very good. It is just like what obtains in Europe and I am really happy making my debut at the continental tournament,” he said.

The Denmark-based rising star believes he has what it takes to conquer Africa. His words: “I think I have the chance to win this competition because I am playing well at present. Everybody is also playing well but I am here to make a name for myself and do my country proud.

“There is no doubt that the quality of players in the competition has again confirmed that Africa has the talents. I am particularly impressed with the organisation. I was a bit surprised that we could have such a conducive atmosphere.”

Reviewing his triumph over Idowu in his first game, Diaw said: “I was a bit nervous in the first game because we used to play against each other in Europe. I was losing the first set at 4-8 but I was able to recover and win the game.

“But after winning the second set, I was confident that I could win the contest and when he tried to come back in the third game, I was stronger than him mentally. He is such a good player.

2019 ITTF Africa Cup: We’ll Continue To Raise The Bar – NTTF…

With the staging of the 2019 ITTF Africa Cup, the President of the Nigeria Table Tennis Federation (NTTF), Engr Ishaku Tikon has said that Nigeria would continue to raise the standard of table tennis with the hosting of major competitions in Africa. Nigeria is hosting the African Club Championships, ITTF Africa Cup and ITTF Challenge […]

via 2019 ITTF Africa Cup: We’ll Continue To Raise The Bar – NTTF… — finixsportsblog

2019 ITTF Africa Cup: We’ll Continue To Raise The Bar – NTTF…

With the staging of the 2019 ITTF Africa Cup, the President of the Nigeria Table Tennis Federation (NTTF), Engr Ishaku Tikon has said that Nigeria would continue to raise the standard of table tennis with the hosting of major competitions in Africa.

Dina Meshref

Nigeria is hosting the African Club Championships, ITTF Africa Cup and ITTF Challenge Plus Nigeria Open and the NTTF boss said the world now looks toward Nigeria in terms of organisation of world class competitions.
“We will continue to raise the bar as regards table tennis in the country and Africa, said Tikon.

for the Local Organising Committee (LOC) Chairman, Wahid Oshodi, fans would be treated to exciting matches in 10days. “We’re hoping to give them huge entertainment and I want them to come over to the stadium and enjoy the games,” Oshodi said.

ARUNA Quadri

For Aruna Quadri, the Lagos fans should expect the best from him. “Everyone wants to win and I want to win as well and to give my 100 percent best. Although it is always difficult playing in front of home fans as it is also a motivation,” the 22nd ranked player in the world said.

According to the Executive Chairman, Kweku Tandoh, the tournament has made Lagos a hub of sports in Africa.
“The benefit of hosting this event is to grow tourism in Lagos State, as the aim of the state is to emerge as the hub for tourism, entertainment and sports in Africa, ultimately putting Lagos on the world map,” Tandoh said.

Dina Meshref

In his remarks, President of Africa Table Tennis Federation (ATTF), Khaled El-Salhy said the tournament would help to showcase the quality of players in Africa. “We want to show that we have world class players in Africa, like Aruna Quadri and Omar Assar at the next ITTF World Cup. Lagos is like home of table tennis in Africa,” the ITTF boss said.

12 Teams for African Club Table Tennis Championships As Egypt’s ENPPI, Ahly Top Seeding List

AS part of the table tennis fiestas igniting Lagos, 12 teams have already been confirmed for the African Club Championships which begin on Thursday August 1 at the Molade Okoya-Thomas Hall of Teslim Balogun Stadium in Lagos.

Defending champion – Ahly Club of Egypt has been listed as the number one seed in the women’s event while ENPPI of Egypt will be heading the men’s event at the two-day championship.

Nigeria’s Aruna Quadri partnered Egypt’s Omar Assar at ITTT World Tour

According to the African Table Tennis Federation (ATTF), host country – Nigeria will be represented by SOJ TT Club of Lagos and Remo Stars TT Club of Ogun in the men event while G20 of Abuja and Cannan Queen of Calabar will hoist Nigeria’s flag in the women event.

The Ahly team will be led by African women champion – Dina Meshref while the best two players in the continent – Aruna Quadri of Nigeria and Egypt’s Omar Assar will dorn the colours of ENPPI of Egypt.
Congo DRC, Togo, Ethiopia, Benin Republic, Senegal, and Rwanda will also be represented in the continental club championship.

For the President of ATTF, Khaled El-Salhy, the tournament would help the players to tune up for the ITTF Africa Cup.

Nigeria’s Quadri and Egypt’s Meshref Emerge as Singles Champions at 2018 ITTF African Championships

For the ATTF boss, the tournament would also add glamour the table tennis fiesta holding in Lagos being the first time any African nation would stag three prestigious tournaments at a stretch.

“The tournament is a good test for the African players and a good preparation for the main event “ITTF Africa Cup, which is the qualifying event for ITTF World Cups. We have a good number of entries and I hope ITTF can consider staging a World Clubs Championships in which the Champion in Africa can compete with the champions of others continent,” the ATTF chief said.

15 Countries Confirm For 2019 ITTF Africa Cup, Quadri, Meshref To Defend Titles

In less than one week, the best players from 15 African countries will converge in Lagos for the 2019 ITTF Africa Cup, which serves off on August 3 at the Molade Okoya-Thomas Hall of Teslim Balogun Stadium.

Nigeria’s Aruna Quadri and Egypt’s Dina Meshref are defending champions of the tournament and they are expected to battle against other players for their places in the 2019 ITTF World Cups.

Aside host – Nigeria, countries expected in Lagos for the three-day championship include Algeria, Benin Republic, Burkina Faso, Cameroun, Congo Brazzaville, Congo DRC, Egypt, Ghana, Guinea, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Togo and Tunisia.

African champion Dina Meshref of Egypt

Also, since establishing himself as Algeria’s best male player, Sami Kherouf has been making frantic efforts to halt the dominance of Aruna Quadri and Egypt’s Omar Assar (EGY) in Africa. But all his efforts have not materialised.

Again, the Algerian star will be heading to Lagos, in his bid to fulfil his dream of becoming the first Algerian to conquer the continent.

As a realist, Sami Kherouf admitted that it will take an extra-ordinary performance to rule the continent.
“At present, we are training together as a team in Algiers with the aim of using the Africa Cup in Lagos as a good preparation for the All African Games,” he said.

BUDAPEST, HUNGARY – [April 22]: Mens Doubles preliminary at the Liebherr 2019 ITTF World Table Tennis Championships on April 22, 2019 in Budapest, Hungary. (Photo by Remy Gros/ITTF)

On the possibility of dethroning the defending champion – Aruna Quadri, he said: “To win the title is super hard with the presence of the best African players like Omar Assar and Aruna Quadri as well as other good players too.

“I must admit that to win the title will require a lot of work and at the moment it seems hard to win. It is hard because you have to compete with top players, who ply their trade in big leagues and who devote most of their time to the game as their main job,” he added.

Sami Kherouf cannot wait to come to Nigeria. “I cannot wait to come to Nigeria because I have never visited the country before. I know it is a country that loves sports and especially table tennis,” the Algerian number one star said.

In his modest ambition, Sami Kherouf said: “I am aiming to win a bronze medal and I would have loved to become the first Algerian to qualify for the World Cup but it is very hard for everyone except Omar Assar and Aruna Quadri.”