01 Mar 2018

Staged in Alexandria in 1962, Emmanuel Quaye won Men’s Singles gold at the first ever African Championships, six years later in Lagos, he regained the crown; likewise in the Nigerian capital city Ethel Jacks donned the Women’s Singles crown and thus retained her title. She had won on home soil in Accra in 1964.

Alas for Ghana, since those days of over half a century ago, the fortunes of the country have dropped dramatically, podium places have been non-existent. Now there is a rejuvenation; a fact underlined in the opening exchanges in the Men’s event at the 2018 ITTF-Africa Top 16 Cup in Nairobi, Kenya.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager (Quotes by Olalekan Okusan, ITTF-Africa Press Officer)

Stand tall 26 year old Derek Abrefa; on the late morning of Thursday 1st March, he made the ideal start to his campaign in the Men’s event.

He beat South Africa’s Kurt Lingeveldt in four games (11-2, 13-11, 9-11, 11-7); a most creditable performance, especially when taken into consideration that Derek Abrefa has no current world ranking and is the lowest rated in his group.

“After seeing the draw, I took my time to watch some of Kurt’s videos and I was able to discover his weaknesses. So I came into the match with a plan and I executed it very well to win the match. I am happy that I started well. It is also my first time in Kenya so yesterday the hot weather was a problem but am trying to adjust.” Derek Abrefa

Success in his opening contest, there was also success on his second visit to the table; he beat Godrey Sultan of the Seychelles in three straight games (11-6, 12-10, 11-5).

Notably, Derek Abrefa is in the same group as Egypt’s Omar Assar, the top seed. Similarly, he made a positive start to his campaign; he accounted for Godfrey Sultan (11-2, 11-4, 11-4) and Kurt Lingevelt (11-8, 11-7, 11-9).

In the concluding group contest, Derek Abrefa meets Omar Assar and is looking forward to the contest.

“Playing against Omar Assar in the group is a tough challenge but I will try to match him. It will not be a one-sided encounter; maybe I can cause an upset?” Derek Abrefa

Win or lose, Derek Abrefa has met his goal of reaching the quarter-finals; alongside Omar Assar, he assured of a top two finish in the group. Players finishing in first and second positions in each group advance to the round of the last eight.

2018 ITTF Africa Top 16 Derek Abrefa

No results found.