Egypt’s Mohammed El-Beiali will spearhead his country’s campaign for the 2018 International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) African Championship title against archrival, Nigeria, holding between September 3 and 9 in Mauritius.
The Egyptian, who steps in in the absence of his compatriot and Africa’s number two seed, Omar Assar, will also be aiming to lead his country against Nigeria in the men’s team event, which serves as qualifiers for the ITTF World Team Cup in 2020.
El-Beiali got to the round of 16 at the ITTF Challenge Seamaster Nigeria Open in Lagos, where he lost to Romanian, Sipos Rares in the men’s singles.
Despite his not too impressive outing in Lagos, El-Beiali is hoping to pull a surprise at the men’s singles title in Mauritius.
“My dreams and goals are to ensure that we did not miss Omar Assar much in the team particularly when playing against a strong team like Nigeria.
I must admit that we will surely miss him Omar Assar in the team but with the youthfulness of Khaled Assar and the experience of Ahmed Saleh we can conquer Nigeria in the team event.
“My partnership with Khaled will also rule the men’s doubles. Personally, my target is the men’s singles title and I hope I can win it this time around,” he said.
The Egyptian added, “I must say that Africa has come of age in table tennis with the exploits of Aruna Quadri and Omar Assar.
They have set a benchmark for us in the continent and this has accorded us respect in the world. I look forward to an exciting tournament in Mauritius.”
Not to underestimate the effect of Omar Assar’s absence in the Egyptian team, Mohammed El-Beiali said: “For sure without Omar Assar against Nigeria will be a difficult match for us but we will try our best.
There is no doubt that we will be the efforts of Omar Assar but we are really preparing for the championship as we now in camp training twice daily in Cairo.
I think we can do something in Mauritius but I must admit that it is not going to be easy at all.”