For the first time in the history of the ITTF World Cup, Africa will be presenting two representatives in the men’s event of the tournament holding next month in Liege, Belgium.
It was the performance of the two best African players that yielded positive results as Africa will be presenting two players for the first time at the annual championship.
Already, Aruna Quadri qualified in July as the winner of the ITTF Africa Cup and Omar Assar was confirmed as the second continental flag bearer based on his world ranking. Also after the conclusion of the ITTF Asian Cup held in India, the Egyptian is ranked among the top 40 in the world to be considered as qualifier for the 20-man tournament.
Omar Assar, who just moved to Germany to join Werder Bremen in the Bundesliga from France recently in Lagos, Nigeria, reclaimed his men’s singles title at the 2017 Nigeria Open following his absence in 2016.
An elated President of African Table Tennis Federation (ATTF), Khaled El-Salhy described this as a giant stride for table tennis in Africa.
“Congratulations to Africa for the first time to have two qualifiers to participate in the ITTF Men’s World Cup. Aruna Quadri (NGR) already qualified earlier in July as per his title in ITTF-Africa Cup that was held in Agadir, Morocco, and I can confirm to you that Omar Assar (EGY) also qualified as per World Ranking.
“I was following up the ITTF-Asian Cup that has been concluded to calculate the possibility for Omar Assar comparing him with the top number fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth ranked players in Asia and Europe.
“This is a fantastic moment in the history of Table Tennis in Africa by having two qualifiers among the top 20 players in the World Cup. This is for sure due to the high ranking of our top African players. I am so happy and on behalf of all African table tennis, I wish Aruna Quadri and Omar Assar the best of luck to represent Africa in the forthcoming Men’s World Cup to be held in Liege – Belgium on October 20 to 22, 2017,” the ATTF boss said.