Category Archives: Table Tennis

Nigeria’s Aruna Quadri Arrives France For 2018 ITTF World Cup

After leading Portugal’s Sporting to their first win of the 2018/2019 European Table Tennis Union (ETTU) Champions League, Africa’s sole representative at the 2018 ITTF World Cup, Nigeria’s Aruna Quadri has arrived Paris, France, in readiness for the three-day tournament which serves off on Friday October 19.

The $250,000 prize money championship will have 20 of the best players in the world competing to share from the prize money and also amass ranking points.

Quadri, who made the final cut based on his world ranking, will start his campaign from the first round where 12 players will be drawn into four groups of three players in each group. The top two players in each group join the already seeded eight players to compete in the knockout round on October 20, while the final holds on October 21.

The 2018 ITTF African Champion was in high spirit for the tournament and he is eager to reenact the feat that saw him becoming the first African to make it to the quarterfinal stage of the championship with his superlative outing at the 2014 edition in Dusseldorf, Germany.

Aruna Quadri

A determined Quadri said he is looking forward to a good draw with the aim of advancing to the knockout round.

“I am here to perform like every other player and I am in good shape after the last weekend’s win in the Champions League. Every player competing in the World Cup, are potential champions and I am looking forward to give my best again and hope for the best against the best in the world,” Quadri said.

The draws for the first round of the World Cup holds on Thursday October 18 at the Disney Event Arena in Chessy, a suburb in the east of Paris, France.

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African Table Tennis Superstars Renew Rivalry In Europe

Africa’s biggest exports in table tennis – Aruna Quadri (NGR) and Omar Assar (EGY) will be reigniting their standing rivalry as they battle each other in the European Table Tennis Union (ETTU) Champions League on Thursday September 27 in the city of Dusseldorf, Germany.

Aruna Quadri will be representing his Portuguese club – Sporting while Omar Assar will be making his debut in the competition with Borussia Dusseldorf.

The rivalry between the Nigerian and Egyptian will be outside Africa, as defending champion – Borussia Dusseldorf of Germany and Sporting of Portugal clash in the Group A tie of the prestigious ETTU Champions League.

Aruna Quadri

Aruna Quadri who is the 2018 African Champion will be leading Sporting against Omar Assar’s star-studded Borussia Dusseldorf with both players aiming for each other after Assar missed out from the African Championship in Mauritius recently following the one-year ban from Egypt Table Tennis Federation (ETTF).

Assar joined Borussia Dusseldorf after spending one season with Werder Bremen in the Bundesliga and having started the season on the high with the German champion, the Egyptian will be hoping to prove a point against Aruna Quadri when they both go head-to-head in the lucrative European league for their clubs.

ASSAR Omar EGY
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Following his exclusion from the Egyptian team to Mauritius, Assar has been busy with Borussia Dusseldorf which has former European Champion – Timo Boll in its fold. The team is at present topping the Bundesliga table with six points from three matches and they have remained unbeaten this season.

For Aruna and his Sporting teammates, it is indeed another task as the Portuguese league is yet to kick off while the Champions League will serve as their first match this season.

Nigeria’s Aruna Quadri And Egypt’s Omar Assar

Sporting at their maiden appearance in the Champions League last season made it to the semifinal stage and with the presence of Aruna Quadri and his compatriot – Bode Abiodun with Portuguese internationals – Joao Monteiro and Diogo Carvalho, Sporting will be aiming to advance from Group A which also has French champion – Pontoise Cergy and TTC Ostrava 2016 of Czech Republic.

The two top teams in each group will progress to the quarterfinal stage of the competition, while the third placed teams in each group drop to the ETTU Cup.

Nigeria’s Oshonaike Not Giving Up On Seventh Olympics Appearance

At 43, Olufunke Oshonaike is not giving up on her plan of setting a new continental record as the first African female athlete to attend seven Olympic Games.

Since making her debut at the Olympic Games in Atlanta 1996 in United States, Oshonaike has represented Nigeria at six Olympic Games and she is poised on making it to Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in Japan.

The former African champion was beaten in the round of 16 of the women’s singles at the 2018 ITTF African Championships in Mauritius but she has insisted that she cannot be forced to quit the sport that she has been romancing for more than three decades.

The Germany-based star said that she would continue to feature for Nigeria with the intention of making it to her seventh Olympic Games in 2020 Tokyo, Japan.

“I am looking forward to the 2019 African Games with the sole aim of qualifying for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in Japan. If I qualify I will be on top of the world because that will be the last time I will play table tennis and after the Olympic Games I will throw in the towel,” she said.

Funke Oshonaike

She added: “I feel very sad because I lost in the singles but I am still good to play for few years. I look younger than my age and i’m not bothered about what people say because age is nothing but a number. It will be my decision to retire but I hope I qualify for the Olympic Games in order to enter the ‘Seventh Club’. After then I can quit.”

Still ruing the women’s team final loss to Egypt, Oshonaike said the team gave their best against the youthful Egyptians, adding that she hopes that younger players come through to the team in near future. “I think we need new players in this team. The Egyptians are familiar with some of us particularly our style of play. So we need to change something in this team with the introduction of new players and this will surely help us whenever we need them again in any competition,” she said.

Nigeria’s Oladapo Elected as ATTF Deputy President

Nigeria’s Olabanji Oladapo has been elevated as the Deputy President of the African Table Tennis Federation (ATTF) by the Council Board of the continental body.

Oladapo, who was until his election the Vice President, Administration will replace Congo Brazzaville’s Minister, Henri Djombo, who resigned his position as Deputy President.

In a statement signed by the President of ATTF, Khaled El-Salhy, Olabanji’s contribution to the sport coupled with his administrative acumen prompted the CB during the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Federation during the 2018 ITTF African Championships at the weekend in Mauritius to elect him to the post.

The former Secretary General of the Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC) is also a member of the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) Board of Directors (ITTF BOD) and a member of the IOC Commission.

Also, Alfred Bagueka Assobo (CMR) was elected as the Executive Vice President, Administration, while Jean Marie Okouna (CGO) as the Regional Vice President of Central African region.

Due to the diversities of the continent coupled with the vast landmark, the CB of ATTF has expressed its willingness to empower its five regions.

Olabanji Oladapo

According to ATTF boss, the AGM commended the Mauritius Table Tennis Federation (MTTA) for the successful staging of the tournament while they also confirmed in principle the ITTF Strategic Plan.

“They have also approved to give the authority to the ATTF Strategic Plan Working Group to go on with ITTF towards the start of operation in Africa according to the real needs for our continent with full concentration to the following, which is to empower the five African regions for more developmental activities and administration; validate professional staff in ATTF and give higher attention to the players in terms of new training centres, higher prize money and organising super challenge events with other continents” El-Salhy said.

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

Nigeria’s Aruna Quadri and Egypt’s Dina Meshref emerged as singles champions at the 2018 ITTF African Championships concluded in Mauritius on Sunday September 9, 2018.

Quadri did not drop a point from the first round (round of 64) until the final when he defeated Egypt’s Ahmed Saleh 4-1 to win his first African Championships title which he narrowly lost to Egypt’s Omar Assar in 2016.

Also, Meshref, who lost the title to Nigeria’s Olufunke Oshonaike in 2016, reclaimed her title after a convincing 4-0 win over compatriot – Reem El-Eraky in the women’s singles final.

An elated Aruna said he is still eager to win the African Games which he is yet to have in his kitty. “I think I have won virtually all the titles in Africa, the only one I am still hungry to win is the African Games title which I believe I will continue to work hard in order to win it next year in Morocco. I am happy that I am winning this African Championships title for the first time particularly less than one month after I won the ITTF Challenge Nigeria Open in Lagos. I am grateful to the Mauritian fans for their support during all my matches,” he said.

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

Despite reclaiming her title, Meshref admitted that it was a bit hard to win back the laurel particularly with strong opposition from Nigeria’s Edem Offiong in the semifinal. “I am happy winning my title back but it was not an easy task particularly with the match against Edem Offiong. But in all I am happy as I look forward to the ITTF World Cup which is my next tournament this year,” she said.

Egypt Dominates Doubles Events At 2018 ITTF African Championships

From all indications, Egypt will cart home all the medals at stake in the doubles events after Dina Meshref and Ahmed Saleh defeated Nigeria’s Segun Toriola and Olufunke Oshonaike 4-0 to emerge as champions in the mixed doubles event of the 2018 ITTF African Championships holding in Mauritius.

Also in the women and doubles event, it will be an all Egyptian affair in the finals after Dina Meshref and Yousry Helmy set up a final clash against Farah Abdel-Aziz and Reem El-Raky in the women’s doubles while Youssef Abdel-Aziz and Khalid Assar upset Nigeria’s Aruna Quadri and Segun Toriola in the semifinal with a 4-2 win. Ahmed Saleh and Mohammed El-Beiali also beat Cote d’Ivoire’s duo of Kanate Ali and Kizito Oba Oba by same margin to berth in the final.

Dina Meshref has increased her gold medals to two having won the first gold medal in the women’s team event.
On Saturday September 8, the tournament enters crucial stage in the singles as players for places in the last eight of the championship.

The second round match (round of 32) of the men and women singles event hold as the battle for top prize continues at the Beau Bassin Sports Complex in Mauritius.

African champion Dina Meshref of Egypt

Also in the women’s doubles, South Africa’s duo of Danisha Patel and Simeen Mokreey achieved their biggest feat in the tournament after dismissing Nigeria’s duo of Oshonaike and Esther Oribamise 4-1 in the semifinal round to make the medal zone in the event.

Also Ivorien duo of Ali and Oba Oba made it to the podium after beating South Africa’s pair of Shane Overmeyer and Theo Cogill in the semifinal to finish on the bronze medal zone.

Quadri, Meshref Are Top Seeds As Singles Serve Off Today

Nigeria’s Aruna Quadri and Egypt’s Dina Meshref have been seeded as top seeds as the singles event of the 2018 ITTF African Championships serves off on Friday September 7, 2018 in Mauritius.

Action will return to the Beau Bassin Sports Complex after a one-day rest following the conclusion of the team event on Wednesday September the 5th 2018 with Nigeria and Egypt picking the slots for Africa to the 2019 ITTF World Team Cup in Tokyo, Japan.

In the absence of the defending champion – Egypt’s Omar Assar, Aruna Quadri was named the number one seed and he will start his campaign from the second round (round of 32) after getting a bye from the first round.

Also as the second seed in the men’s singles, Egypt’s Ahmed Saleh also got a bye to the second round and the third seed is Egypt’s Mohammed El-Beiali who got a bye to the second round as well.

Aside Meshref who got a bye to the second round, Nigeria’s Olufunke Oshonaike seeded number two also had a bye to the second round.

Aruna Quadri and Dina Meshref

Also the men and women doubles event will precede the kick-off of the singles event while the semifinal of the mixed doubles will hold as well on same day.

It promises to be a busy day for all the teams as they battle for the top spots in the remaining five events (doubles (men and women), singles (men and women) and mixed doubles continues at the championships.

Apart from playing for pride, the players will be aiming to share from the $25,000 prize money set aside for the last four players in the remaining five events.