by Olalekan Okusan, ITTF-Africa Press Officer
Moreover, a record entry is anticipated; the successful teams gaining places in the World Junior Championships and World Cadet Challenge to be staged later in the year.
Understandably, Khaled El-Salhy, President of the African Table Tennis Federation, is delighted with the response.
“It seems we are going to have an historical event with the highest level of entries since 2001, overall 180 players representing about 20 countries are listed for the 2019 African Junior and Cadet Championships. I am eager to ensure the safe arrival of all those confirmed 20 national associations in Accra next week; to follow-up that, we have a competitive tournament for all the top players.” Khaled El-Salhy
Once Ghana was one of the strongest nations in the continent. At the African Championships in 1962 Emmanuel Quaye won the men’s singles event; then starting in 1964 Ethel Jacks secured the counterpart women’s title on three consecutive occasions. The forthcoming tournament is a major boost in an attempt to revive fortunes.
“I am so happy to come back to Ghana for the forthcoming ITTF/ATTF events next week after 16 years when we conducted an African Junior and Cadet Championships in 2003. Ghana is one of the traditional countries for table tennis in Africa; they had so many legends who won gold medals at African events in 1960s.” Khaled El-Salhy
Positive signs and there is further good news; after two years absence from the tournament, Nigeria returns to duty.
“Nigeria is most welcome to join us again at the African Juniors to provide very stiff competition with the North African countries like Algeria, Egypt and Tunisia. Now with all our powerful countries and players present, we can ensure that a top standard will qualify to represent Africa at the World Junior Championships and World Cadet Challenge. We will try our best to support the qualifying teams and enable them to prepare well. The selected African cadet team will be entitled to a special practice camp in the first half of October in Egypt before their participation in Poland.” Khaled El-Salhy