The continental powerhouses in table tennis – Nigeria and Egypt will lead 14 other African countries to this year’s International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) World Championships holding in Dusseldorf, Germany.
The qualification of the participating teams was based on their attendance of continental tournament held in Agadir, Morocco last year while other African countries that will join Nigeria and Egypt for the tournament are Algeria, Botswana, Cameroon, Congo Brazzaville, Cote d’Ivoire, Gabon, Libya, Morocco, South Africa, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Togo and Tunisia.
According to the list of eligible teams to enter players for the championships, Europe dominates the list of participants with 45 nations while world champions – China will lead 37 Asian countries to the tournament.
Also, Nigeria and Egypt will benefit from Aruna Quadri and Omar Assar ranking as both players are among the top 100 in the world and this will provide the two countries the opportunity to present four players each while other countries that will have four players in the men’s event are Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, England, Finland, Greece, Hungary, India, Iran, Poland, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Singapore, Slovenia, Serbia, Slovakia, Sweden, Turkey, Ukraine and United States.
Austria, Belarus, Brazil, China, France, Hong kong, Japan, Korea Republic, Portugal and Chinese Taipei will present five players each while the host – Germany is expected to list six players for the competition.
This year’s tournament holds between May 29 and June 5 and it will be organised by the Table Tennis Association of Germany (DTTB) with five individual events – Men’s Singles, Women’s Singles, Men’s Doubles, Women’s Doubles and Mixed Doubles to be competed for at the eight-day championships.
According to the prospectus of the competition, the first round proper of Men’s Singles and Women’s Singles will have 128 places and the first round proper of Men’s Doubles, Women’s Doubles and Mixed Doubles will have 64 places.
The singles events will have 64 seeded players, 32 direct entries and 32 qualifiers, while the Doubles events will have 32 seeded pairs, 16 direct entries and 16 qualifiers.
Qualification for singles will initially comprise groups followed by one or two knockout rounds, while qualification for doubles will be by knockout. All singles matches will be best of seven games.
Doubles matches will be best of five games in qualification matches and best of 7 games in the main draw.