by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor (Interviews by Olalekan Okusan)
Both are now seasoned competitors on the ITTF World Tour but it will be only the third time they have joined forces.
In 2015 they were in action as a pairing in Poland, notably accounting for the highly rated partnership of Croatia’s Andrej Gacina and Portugal’s Marcos Freitas before being beaten at the quarter-final stage by the latter’s compatriots Tiago Apolonia and João Monteiro.
“Quadri Aruna is a very good player in singles and doubles and I think our relationship has been closer lately, we share many ideas off the table. The first time we played together was at the 2015 Polish Open when we got to quarter-final with our big win over Freitas and Gacina. Our target is to make it to the grand finals of 2017”, Omar Assar
Defeat at the hands of a most creditable partnership, it was the same last year when they combined at the Hybiome 2016 ITTF World Tour Austrian Open. They advanced through the preliminary stage to the main draw where, in the opening round they experienced defeat at the hands of Germany’s Patrick Franziska and Denmark’s Jonathan Groth, the eventual winners.
“It was an easy decision for me to decide to partner Omar Assar because we seem to understand each other when we play together. We played very well at the Polish Open and Austria Open. We have made up our mind to play together in all ITTF World Tours this year. The aim is for Africa to be present at the World Tour Grand Finals later in the year. I am hopeful that we can achieve our aim”, Quadri Aruna
Together in Budapest but usually when in Europe, as in Africa, they are adversaries.
Both compete in the French League, Quadri Aruna plays for Jura Morez; Omar Assar for Istres.