ITTF AFRICAN CHAMPIONSHIPS
The defeat Egypt suffered against Nigeria in the final of the men’s team event of the 2015 African Games is still fresh in the memory of Omar Assar and the Egyptian believes this year’s ITTF African Senior Championship would help to settle score against the West African giant.
Apart from the team event heartache in Congo Brazzaville, Assar has revenge in his mind against Aruna Quadri, whom he said has been in fine form lately.
“I do believe that Egypt is the strongest country in Africa and I trust my teammates and coaches that we can show that in Morocco. I look forward to the classic final between Egypt and Nigeria, which has always been very fun to play and to watch as well for the spectators.
“I have been preparing very well for this event and I am looking forward to a great performance. I had two weeks of physical, mental and technical preparation in Germany where I had my last training camp so I can say I am waiting for my good performance in Morocco,” stressed the African star.
Assar however admits that Quadri is in fine form and that the battle in Morocco will be fierce.
“I must admit that Aruna Quadri has played in top level recently in the French league and international events, so it will be interesting to see our match in Morocco especially in the men’s singles. I expect a good start with my teammates in team event first, then in singles I am very hungry to display a very good performance.”
“For sure, when it comes to Egypt and when you represent Egypt, you always look for gold not only in Africa but everywhere else. I must also say that our women team is very strong and stable, however some injuries can affect the team but I see that there are some new young stars are coming now and they are fresh and hungry to win. Also Dina Meshref has been playing in such a high level tournaments and she showed that she is one of the best African female player at all time.”
“Table tennis in Africa has taken a different shape since the new board of African Table Tennis Federation (ATTF) came on board because there have been conscious efforts to promote the sport and I am very happy that I can see that ITtv is covering the African events almost everywhere. But we are waiting for much more and expecting more promotion locally in Egypt and Nigeria.”
As a Pan Africanist, Assar said: “I would love to see one day that there is something called Team Africa and they play regularly with teams from Europe and Asia from time to time. This would surely help the players to improve themselves.”