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.