Aiming to repeat the success gained four years ago when the tournament was staged in the Mediterranean port city of Alexandria, the quest at the forthcoming 2023 ITTF African Para Table Tennis Championships, staged from Wednesday 20th to Saturday 23rd September, is to do the same again.
Once again, Egypt plays host, this time in Giza; the names of no less than 12 of the 13 gold medallists in 2019, appear on the entry list.
Egypt and Nigeria, the two major powerhouse table tennis nations in the continent, with Tunisia making progress by the day, provide the principal names.
- Egypt (men): Eslam Raslan (class 1), Sameh Eid (class 4), Ayman Zanaty (class 5), Mahmoud Bashir (class 7), Sayed Youssef (class 7); in 2019 Mahmoud Bashir was class 6.
- Egypt (women): Faiza Mahmoud (class 5), Hanna Hammad (class 6)
- Nigeria (men): Ahmed Koleosho (class 3), Victor Farniloye (class 8), Tajudeen Agunbiade (class 11)
- Nigeria (women): Faith Obazuaye (class 10)
- Tunisia (men): Karim Gharshallah (class 11)
From the hosts in the men’s singles the names to note, in particular, are Sameh Eid and Sayed Youssef.
Approaching a quarter of a century ago, Sameh Eid struck gold in 1999 in Johannesburg when the event was known as the Africa/Middle East Championships, before becoming the African Championships in 2007 in Cairo.
Overall, at the tournament he has no less than ten men’s singles titles to his credit; notably, in addition, he excelled at the London 2012 Paralympic Games, a bronze medal was the reward for his efforts.
Similarly, Sayed Youssef has six men’s singles continental titles to his name, he first won in 2007 in Cairo.
Furthermore, he is very much a man in form; earlier this year he succeeded in both Egypt and Saudi Arabia.
Names to note in the men’s singles from Africa, from Nigeria, Tajudeen Agunbiade is a major contender for honours, like his Nigerian counterparts vastly experienced.
No less than eight times the winner at the continental gathering, he is the one player on duty in Giza with Paralympic gold to his name, he won in 2000 in Sydney.
Similarly, in the women’s singles, Egypt’s Faiza Mahmoud has a long history of success at the African Para Championships, commencing in 2007, she has claimed women’s singles gold on six occasions; additionally, this year she won in Saudi Arabia.
Meanwhile, the name to note in the women’s singles events from Nigeria is Faith Obazuaye, class 10, she was a silver medallist at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.
A total of nine member associations compete in Giza, one more than four years ago; however, there is a notable increase in the number of players, 120 names are listed, in 2019 it was 72 in number.