by Simon Daish
Top Players Expected at Championships
Agadir (Morocco) will be the host city for the Africa Senior Championships from the 24th-30th October, welcoming countries from across the continent to participate for glory.
The opening of the Championships will see the return of top class Table Tennis action to the African continent. Following the conclusion of the 2016 Olympic Games and both the Men’s and Women’s 2016 World Cups, notable players such as Quadri Aruna (NGR) and Dina Meshref (EGY) are set to make an appearance in Agadir.
Speaking to Olalekan Okusan (Press Officer for the African Table Tennis Federation), Khaled El-Salhy outlined the significance of achieving success at the Championships with places for future major competitions up for grabs:
“The tournament in Agadir is the qualification event for the 2017 ITTF World Team Cup, and is the prerequisite event for all African competitors to take part at the 2017 ITTF World Championships (Germany) for the Singles and Doubles events.” – Khaled El-Salhy (President of the African Table Tennis Federation).
Preparations Running Smoothly
It is anticipated that around 15 countries will participate in the 2016 Africa Senior Championships and with the likes of Egypt and Nigeria’s contingents set to travel to the Championships, the competition promises to deliver some mouthwatering action along the way.
“All preparations and arrangements for the competition seems to be working well with the main hotel already secured as well as the venue, and I hope it will be a successful event,” said El-Salhy. “It will be a tough competition between the top countries especially Egypt and Nigeria.”
“Egypt are aiming to retain their titles, while Nigeria will be looking to make full use of Quadri Aruna to help his country secure the sole slot for the 2017 World Team Cup.”
Surprise Outcome in Agadir?
Last year at the Championships, Egypt dominated proceedings by picking up five of the seven titles on offer.
However, at the 2015 African Games the host nation Congo Brazzaville proved to be the surprise package of the event by capturing eight medals (three gold, one silver and four bronze) and President Khaled El-Salhy hopes to see a strong showing from other nations to challenge Egypt and Nigeria:
“There is no doubt that the traditional forces are going to dazzle. I also believe that Congo Brazzaville, Algeria and Tunisia will be teams to watch out for in the team categories for potential podium places in Morocco.”