Africa’s top ranked table tennis nations, Nigeria and Egypt, are among 14 others that will hoist the continent’s flags at this year’s International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) World Championships scheduled to hold between May 29 and June 5 in Dusseldorf, Germany.
The championship will feature five individual events, including the men’s singles, women’s singles, men’s doubles, women’s doubles and mixed doubles. Other countries from Africa are Congo Brazzaville, Cameroun, Algeria, Botswana, Cote d’Ivoire, Gabon, Libya, Morocco, South Africa, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Togo and Tunisia.
The participating nations for this year’s competition in Dusseldorf were chosen based on their appearance at the continental tournament held in Agadir, Morocco last year.
Europe has the highest contingent in the eight-day competition with 45 countries, followed by Asia with 37. The exploits of Aruna Quadri and Egypt’s Omar Assar in the world table tennis circuit will benefit both Nigeria and Egypt, as both players are among the top 100 in the world. It will provide the two nations the chance to present four players each.
Countries such as Austria, Belarus, Brazil, China, France, Hongkong, Japan, Korea Republic, Portugal and Chinese Taipei will present five players each, while host, Germany, will present six for the competition.
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 event will have 64 seeded players, 32 will be on direct entries as the doubles event 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 seven games in the main draw.