23 Oct 2016

High hopes at the recent Rio 2016 Olympic Games but for Congo Brazzaville’s Suraju Saka it was an early exit; he was beaten in a hard fought seven games duel by Puerto Rico’s Brian Afanador.

Now that defeat is resigned to history; eyes are now firmly focused on the 2016 Africa Senior Championships which commence in Agadir, Morocco on Monday 24th October.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

Egypt and Nigeria, with the likes of Omar Assar and Quadri Aruna on duty, start as favourites for gold but Suraju Saka, who won the Men’s Singles title at the African Senior Championships staged in Kinshasa in 2008, is confident that he can cause an upset.

“We have been training for past weeks for this Championship and I don’t see Nigeria stopping us despite having a star player in Quadri Aruna”, said Suraju Saka when speaking to Olalekan Okusan, the Press Officer for the African Table Tennis Federation.

“In Africa, we know now each other well; I must stress that I have beaten Quadri Aruna in major competitions and beating him in Morocco will not be an issue for me”, added Suraju Saka. “I know Nigeria and Egypt are blessed with quality players but we are also ready for them, it depends on the day.”

Now 40 years old, the playing days at international level for Suraju Saka are numbered; could Agadir be a last chance for Suraju Saka.

“We also want to represent Africa at the World Team Cup, so we are going to be a title contender in the Men’s Team event”, stressed Suraju Saka. “The title is not for Nigeria or Egypt alone and we will ensure that with my teammates, Saheed Idowu and Abiodun Lawal, we give everything to succeed.”

Testing times ahead but he has one major advantage; he has experience.

African Championships Suraju Saka