13 Mar 2018

A most creditable eighth place was the lot of Ghana’s Derek Abrefa at the recently concluded 2018 ITTF-Africa Top 16 Cup staged in the Kenyan capital city of Nairobi; the highlight being his performance in the group stage of proceedings when he stretched the champion elect, Egypt’s Omar Assar, the full five games distance (11-6, 11-13, 11-8, 8-11, 11-4).

The performance underlined the quality the Ghanaian as he prepares for the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia; proceedings commence on Wednesday 24th April and conclude on Sunday 15th April.

by Olalekan Okusan, ITTF Africa, Press Officer

The backhand attacking strokes exuded by Derek Abrefa were of particular note in Nairobi; now being among the first group of athletes from Ghana to be sure of a place in Gold Coast, Derek Abrefa is full of optimism.

He explained:

“My target is to improve upon my Commonwealth ranking and make my nation proud by going to Australia, giving my best and winning medals for Team Ghana.

It is going to be a very tough tournament because we have Singapore, India, England, Australia and Nigerian teams present. They are heavyweights; these are very tough teams who are all capable of winning but I have confidence in my Ghanaian team and know that we are capable of beating any of these teams.

I believe that in sport, it is not the team with the best players that wins but the players within the best team that prevails at the end.

The training we have gone through and the preparation we have been given, I see Ghana appearing among the best in the table tennis event.

At the ITTF-Africa Top 16 tournament, playing the likes of Omar Assar, who is ranked no.16 in the world and battling against heroes like Quadri Aruna, means my confidence level is like never before. They seem to be ahead of all the players who are coming to Gold Coast in terms of ranking and strength. The unity among the Ghanaian team is so strong that any team that meets us will not get through us easily.

I have confidence in my Ghanaian team because we have gone through proper preparations and we are in good shape to cause upset at Gold Coast.”

Derek Abrefa acknowledges the quality of Nigeria’s Quadri Aruna and England’s Liam Pitchford; he believes they are favourites for the Men’s Singles title in Gold Coast.

2018 Commonwealth Games Derek Abrefa