by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Notably the 23 year old, who presently stands at no.115 on the Women’s World Ranking list, is the most successful African player in the history of the Women’s World Cup, a tournament which first saw the light of day in 1996 when China’s Deng Yaping won in Hong Kong.
In 2015, when staged in the Japanese city of Sendai she progressed to the main draw; the only African player to achieve the feat.
Dina Meshref spoke to Olalekan Okusan, the ITTF-,Africa Press Officer
“I am well and I have started preparing for the World Cup. I felt really happy to have won the Nigeria Open this year, especially beating high level players on my way to clinching the Women’s Singles title. I must confess that the victory in Lagos motivated me a lot to train harder and improve my level further, in order to improve my world ranking.
In general, I hope I can reach the semi-final one day at the World Cup, even though I am aware that it’s not easy at all but I will do my best. I am also going to be very happy and satisfied if I just reach the top 16 since I am still ranked in the 17 to 20 bracket in the tournament. If I manage to qualify to the top 16 it means I will have beaten a player ranked higher than me, which is good.
I hope I can exceed my last year’s performance this year and reach the top eight maybe. I hope I can first pass the group stage and reach top 16, after that, it will depend on the draw but I will do my best to reach the quarter-finals.
I am trying my best to prepare really well. I will be heading to Austria for a training camp in September and then I will participate at the Austrian Open, after that I will continue my preparation in Cairo.”