ITTF TEAM WORLD CUP
African teams at the 2019 ITTF Team World Cup in Tokyo have tough battles ahead of them today as Nigeria and Egypt play their last group matches of the competition.
Having lost their opening matches to world and Olympic champion – China, Nigerian players will be hoping for luck when they take on Chinese Taipei in the final match of Group A that will determine the team that will join China in the next stage of the competition.
Nigeria and Chinese Taipei were humbled by the Chinese with a 3-0 win in the men’s event, while in the women’s event, Egypt also suffered same defeat in the hand of the Chinese superstars.
And also, the Egyptian team led by African champion, Dina Meshref will slug it out for the second place in Group A against Ukraine.
Despite acknowledging the superiority of the Chinese, Dina Meshref believes the tie has prepared them for the all-important clash against the Ukrainians.
“I believe that playing against China has put us in the right frame of mind for the battle against Ukraine. It was not that the Chinese overrun because we gave them a run for their money. I am hoping that we can go beyond the group stage this year as we take on Ukraine in the final group match,” she said.
Top seeds, China, Germany, South Korea remain unbeaten after winning all their group matches to top their groups.
But it was not same story for host – Japan in the men’s event as they suffered a shock defeat against England while they were later consoled by their hard-earned victory against Austria in their last group tie.
The tournament continues with the top two teams from each group advancing to the knockout stage where they are expected to be drawn against each other for places in the last four of the competition.