The two giants of Africa’s table tennis, Nigeria and Egypt, will be competing at this year’s International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) Africa Cup holding on July 1 in Agadir, Morocco.
The three-day competition earlier scheduled for Mozambique, will serve as qualifications for the ITTF World Cup in the continent for winners in the men and women’s singles events.
Egypt’s Omar Assar and Dina Meshref won the 2015 edition in Yaoundé, Cameroun and are expected to put up a stiff opposition in defending their titles. Each nation is approved to register four players comprising of two males and females while only Egypt will be taking part in the championship with three male and female soccer players.
Speaking on the competition, ITTF Africa, Khaled El-Salhy, said Nigeria and Egypt are the two continent’s brightest hope for qualification to the World Cup, but said countries like Congo Brazzaville, Algeria and Tunisia may not be pushovers at the championship.
The ITTF Africa boss lauded the Morocco Table Tennis Association (MTTA) for accepting to host the competition at a short notice.“The Executive Council (EC) of ITTF Africa decided to step down the event from Mozambique due to lack of communication and delay in signing the contract.
“The new host, Morocco, will host the tournament in Agadir at the same venue and hotel that hosted the 2016 African Championship last October.“I understand that it is quite difficult for any nation to host a major event in short time but we count on the experience of MTTA having hosted many international events in the last five years. I believe they have a very good hospitality and venue,” El-Salhy said.