Tag Archives: ITTF Africa

Nigeria, Egypt To Rekindle Rivalry in Morocco At ITTF Africa Cup

African best table tennis playing nations – Nigeria and Egypt will later this month rekindle their rivalry at the ITTF Africa Cup holding in Agadir, Morocco.

Egypt as the defending champions will be relying on their stars – Omar Assar and Dina Meshref who are hoping to hold on to the title they won at Yaounde 2015 in Cameroun.

Aruna Quadri

According to the President, ITTF Africa, Khaled El-Salhy, the favourites for this tournament are Nigeria and Egypt but countries like Congo Brazzaville, Algeria and Tunisia would not be pushovers when the championship serves off on July 1.

The three-day championship serves as qualifications for the ITTF World Cups with winners in the men and women events representing the continent at the prestigious tournaments holding later in the year.

Every country competing at the championship are expected to register four players made up of two men and two women while defending champions – Egypt will have six players made up of three male and three female taking part in the competition.

Already as part of his efforts to excel at the tournament, men’s singles defending champion, Egypt’s Omar Assar is at present competing at the China Open in order to be in top form for the continental tournament.

The tournament which was initially scheduled to be hosted by Mozambique was awarded to Morocco after the inability of the Mozambique government to confirm their hosting of the championship.

ASSAR Omar EGY
©_PHOTO_PLOHE

The ITTF Africa boss, however, lauded the Morocco Table Tennis Association (MTTA) for accepting to host the competition within a short notice.

“The Executive Council (EC) of ITTF Africa decided to step down the event from Mozambique due to lack of communication and delay in signing the contract by Mozambique. The new host – Morocco will host the tournament in Agadir at the same venue and hotel that hosted the 2016 African Championship last October,” he said.

“I understand that it is quite difficult for any nation to host a major event in short time but we count on the experience of MTTA having hosted many international events in the last five years. I believe they have a very good hospitality and venue,” El-Salhy added.

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Azzam Mohamed…Bespectacled Emerging Table Tennis Star

His calmness coupled with his lightening quick reflexes most times confused opponents and his quality distinguished 13-year-old Mohamed Azzam of Egypt at the ITTF Africa Junior and Cadet Championship in Tunis.

His quality reminds one of the qualities that Omar Assar possessed as a junior player but Mohamed Azzam’s unique calmness portends a great future for the bespectacled teenager sensation.

Individually, he has remained unbeaten in the team event while he is a potential title contender in the cadet singles of the championship.

However, the student of Cairo-based Egypt Dream Language School says he hopes to thread the path of his role–model Omar Assar, whom he described as a great inspiration to Egyptians

“I started playing table tennis at the age of six with my sister who was also a player. Initially when I started table tennis, it was fun and very easy after recently I realised that it is a difficult game that you must always be at your best. But I am not going to be discouraged and continue to work hard to fulfil my dream of becoming the best player in Africa in few years to come,” Mohamed Azzam said.

The Egyptian cadet national champion described the huge support he has been getting from his parents as a motivation for his to excel in the sport. “My parents never discouraged me from following my dream of playing table tennis, they support me a lot by driving me to training and providing all what I need for me. Apart from this, they have never stopped telling me to continue to work hard,” said the Zamalek of Egypt star.

The 13-year-old Mohamed Azzam dazzles in cadet event in Tunis…

The youngster however, admitted that marrying sport with academics has not been an easy task. “I will not tell me that it has been easy managing table tennis and my studies. It is very difficult but I ensure I manage it very well,” he said.

For Mohamed Azzam, to remain champion in Egypt is not as easy as winning it. “To remain a champion in Egypt is not that easy because you have to always work hard and ensure you maintain your form. You have to also train physically to be the best.”

Mohamed Azzam admires his compatriot – Omar Assar, he cannot ignore his soft-spot for the quality of China’s Ma Long. “I love Omar Assar because he is a great champion in Egypt and Africa. But Ma Long is a player I love a lot because he is such a fantastic player respected across the world,” the teenager said.

Egypt Dominate Team Event At ITTF African Junior Championships

The most successful country at the ITTF African Junior Championships, Egypt on Tuesday April 11 confirmed their supremacy in the team event of this year’s tournament after claiming the six event titles in Tunis.

The climax of the tournament was the final of the boys’ team event between Egypt and host – Tunisia with the two countries producing an exciting duel on the table.

Despite the huge support from the home fans, the Egyptians became the cynosure of all eyes in the six events – cadet, junior and U-21 for boys and girls with the team beating other 11 teams to the titles to continue their dominance of the sport in Africa.

Youssef Abdel-Aziz put in a standout performance for Egypt, claiming a brace of victories over Tunisia’s Nathael Hamdoun (12-14, 11-6, 14-12, 11-5) and Omar Ammous (7-11, 11-5, 12-10, 11-4), while Karim Elhakem also chipped in with a win against Ammous (2-11, 11-9, 9-11, 11-3, 11-8) as Egypt produced a 3-1 triumph.

“Last year we defeated Nigeria 3-1 in the final and I did not really play very well in the match. This year, we played very well from the start but in the third match, my teammate lost for them to win a match. But at the end, we were able to retain the title this year. We are happy and hope that we can win more titles in the singles and doubles”, said Egypt’s Karim Elhakem.

After missing out on winning the title Tunisia’s Nathael Hamdoun believes that the hosts can take heart from the performances registered at the tournament, and is looking forward to the rest of the event.

“Generally we played very well in this competition, but in the final against Egypt I could not find a solution to the service of Youssef Abdel-Aziz. This made the match difficult for me. Also I made some mistakes particularly in the last game of one match when I missed topspins. I think they deserve the victory because they played better than us. We hope we can do well in other events at the championships”, a disappointed Tunisia’s Nathael Hamdoun said.

The victorious Egyptian U-21 girls team in Tunis…

Egypt also experienced victory over Tunisia in both the Junior Girls’ Team and Under 21 Boys’ Team finals, as the two winners trophies were retained by last year’s champions.

Marwa Alhodaby picked up a positive result against Abir Haj Salah (11-9, 19-17, 9-11, 11-6) in the opening match of the Junior Girls’ Team final, before Sarah Abousetta and Mariam Alhodaby completed the job for Egypt with respective successes against Fadwa Garci (15-13, 9-11, 7-11, 11-5, 11-1) and Manel Baklouti (11-5, 11-3, 10-12, 11-4).

Over in the Under 21 Boys’ Team final Aly Ghallab put in a heroic showing as Egypt saw off Tunisia by a 3-1 scoreline.

ITTF African Junior Championships: Egypt Dominates Seeding List

The most successful country at the ITTF African Junior Championships – Egypt dominated the seeding list in the team and singles events at this year’s tournament holding in Tunisia on April 9 to 15.

In the team event seeding, Egypt tops in the junior boys and girls categories as well as in the boys U-21 event, the Egyptian were seeded number one.

Host – Tunisia were seeded the top team in the cadet girls, while Algeria were top team in the cadet boys and girls U-21.

In the singles event, Egyptian players dominated the junior and U-21 divisions while Algeria and Tunisia are the top seeds in the cadet boys and girls.

Junior boys top seed, Youssef Abdel-Aziz (EGY)…

In the junior, Egypt’s Youssef Abdel-Aziz and Mariam ALHODABY are top seeds in the singles of boys and girls, while Egypt’s duo of Aly Ghalab and Aida RAHMO dominated the U-21 boys and girls.

Algeria’s CHAICHI Abdelbasset tops in the cadet boys singles, while Tunisia’s Manel BAKLOUTI is the best ranked cadet girls in singles event.

The team events will kick-start the championship on today Sunday April 9 2017.

Social Media Handles Unveiled For AJC, YOG Qualifiers

To make the 2017 African Junior and Cadet Championships (AJC) and the Youth Olympic Games (YOG) qualifiers more engaging and entertaining, African Table Tennis Federation (ITTF Africa) has unveiled the social media handles for the continental tournament which holds in Tunis on April 9 to 15.

According to ITTF Africa, the platforms will give the media and fans across the world and Africa to follow their teams and get daily results including on and off the table videos and pictures during the championships.

With a Hashtag address of #ITTFAfricanJuniors, matches and results can also be followed on facebook.com/ITTFAfrica and Twitter account of the federation.

“We decided to unveil the social media platform in order to make the competition more exciting and engaging for fans across the globe because these are the future stars of the continent. We are going to be providing daily result as well as off the table activities of teams and players so that the continent can get familiar with these stars,” according to a statement issued by the media department of ITTF Africa.

It added that this year’s tournament would be used to select the African cadet team for the World Cadet Challenge as well as qualifiers for the World Junior Championships holding later in the year in Italy.

For seven days, the players will assemble in Tunis to compete for honours in singles, doubles and teams events while defending champions – Egypt will be aiming to hold on to the title it has been dominating in the last five years.

However, the 2018 Youth Olympic Games (YOG) Qualifiers will follow AJC on April 16 to 17, as teams will be aiming to get a slot in the four-man African representatives at YOG come 2018 in Argentina.

ITTF Africa Calls For Bidding Of Future Events

The African Table Tennis Federation (ITTF Africa) has officially invite bidding for its tournaments (2018 to 2020).

In a statement issued by the President of ITTF Africa, Khaled El-Salhy, countries willing to stage any of the major tournaments in the continent are expected to bid.

“ITTF-Africa would like to invite all interested National Associations to bid for the right to host future ITTF-Africa Events. Detailed information about the events are available and the tournaments are to be hosted from 2018-2020, as well as the conditions which need to be met to host such events are made public.

ITTF Africa President, Khaled El-Salhy

The “ITTF-Africa Events Presentation” document helps to showcase the major events of ITTF-Africa, and will provide an overview of how the event can benefit the host city, country and National Association,” he said.

Interested countries can go to http://www.ittfafrica.com/events/hosting-rights-for-future-events/ for details about the tournaments as well as the conditions.

African Teams To jostle For Spots at Youth Olympic Games

The scramble for a spot in next year’s 3rd Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires for African teams will take place in Tunis on April 16 to 17 immediately after the African Junior and Cadet Championships.

According to the President, ITTF Africa, Khaled El-Salhy, the continent is aiming for making the podium again after Tunisia’s Adem Hmam became the first table tennis player from the continent to win a medal after a bronze medal in the mixed doubles event.

Tosin Esther Oribamise (NGR) is one of the players aiming for a spot at the 2018 Youth Olympic Games
Tosin Esther Oribamise (NGR) is one of the players aiming for a spot at the 2018 Youth Olympic Games

“Africa was on the podium at the 1st YOG that was held in 2010 in Singapore (by the bronze medal of Adem Hmam in the mixed doubles), thus such event is very important to us and gives much promotion to our top junior players. For the Youth Games next year, Africa has four spots made up of two boys and two girls and for the qualification, each African Association is entitled to take part with one boy and a girl. Such player must be born on or after 2000 as the qualified players should be 18 by next year in Buenos Aires (i.e. in Tunisia, the qualification tournament the player will be 17),” ITTF boss said.

He explained that the qualifiers is open to all African national associations but said: “Each national association is to select only 1 boy and 1 girl, while the two qualified boys will be from two different countries, and the same for girls as well.

“There will be final 2 boys & 2 girls qualifying for YOG, then Africa will have 2 mixed teams plus the single events, in case a country will be qualified with 1 boy & 1 girl, then they will be together as the 1st mixed team, while in case the 4 qualified players will come from 4 different Associations, then we will arrange with their NOCs to combine them into 2 mixed teams in the name of Africa 1 & Africa 2,” he added.

Tosin Oribamishe
Tosin Oribamishe

On the format of play, Khaled El-Salhy said: “The players will be divided into groups with maximum of five players per group to play round robin for classification. The top two players in each group to play in the knockout stage for final positions, while the finalists will qualify directly to Buenos Aires as the continent’s representatives.”

He however predicted stiff competitions among the participating as it would not be business as usual for Nigeria and Egypt. “Expect countries like Algeria, Angola and maybe Congo Brazzaville can alter the status quo at the qualifiers.”