Derek Abrefa wins Westchester Table Tennis Opens(U2500 ratings)

Derek Abrefa shines in the US

Derek Abrefa - Six Time Table Tennis SWAG Award winner

Ghana’s six time Table Tennis SWAG award winner shines in Westchester, United States of America, where he is currently on a training tour.

Derek Abrefa won the January Westchester Open in the U2500 rating. The U2500 Table Tennis rating is the second highest rating category in the United States. Players from within the states and around the world participate in this category. 

At the group round robin stage were three players. Derek Abrefa, Chang Chen and Ainish Dassarma. This was a group of established players and only two players would move on to the quarter final stage. 

Derek was first in the group after keenly contested matches. He won 3:0 against Chang Chen and 3:0 against Ainish Dassarma.

At the quarter final stage he played Charlie Wang whom he dispatched in four matches 7:11, 11:6, 11:9, 11:9. At this stage players, officials and spectators took note of him. His unique and powerful playing style captivated spectators. 

The U2500 Westchester rating tournament got to its crucial stages in the semi final, where Derek played Jayden Zhou, in a match which ended three games to one in Dereks favour – 3 : 11, 11 : 7, 12:10, 11:7.

News of the Ghanaian Table Tennis star and his performance had spread at this stage of the tournament which made the final match a much anticipated encounter.

Ange Cedric Oba, an Ivorian number one professional player was the opponent in the final. An experienced player who is ranked 673 in the world showed signs of his current form by winning the first two games. However Derek rediscovered his rhythm and fought his way back in the third game to win at 12 : 10. The game ended in three games to two in favour of Derek Abrefa of Ghana – 4 : 11, 9 : 11, 12 : 10, 14 : 12.

Ghana’s highest ranked player with 278 ITTF points won the 2500 Westchester open at his first time of asking. 

Derek Abrefa - January U2020 Westchester 2500 rating winner

In an interview he expressed the following “I thank God for this great victory. I also want to use this opportunity to thank Stanbic Bank Moneywallet for this training tour. It wasn’t easy for me because of the level of players in the tournament and I am happy I finally made my way through to win the ultimate prize. This training tour has sharpen my skills and will help me in all future tournaments and enable me win laurels for my Ghana. I also thank the Ghana table tennis Association for their support from the beginning of this journey. The Ghana immigration service especially the head of sports Mr. Samuel Ayer for his guidance before and during this tour, My coach Ebenezer Anang-Whyte and to all my fans out there who supported me both physically and spiritual, I say God richly bless them all.

He however lost at the quarter final stage to Kai Zhang in the singles open tournament. We at Gh Table Tennis wish to congratulate Derek Abrefa, 6 times Sports Writers Association of Ghana(SWAG) Table Tennis SWAG Award winner for making the nation proud. 

Nigeria shifts attention to Tunisia for Tokyo qualification

African teams to battle for singles, mixed doubles slots

Bode Abiodum - Photo by Lord Kinful

When its maiden attempt at qualifying for table tennis team event of the Olympic Games failed to materialise in Portugal, Team Nigeria have shifted attention to the African Olympic Qualifying Tournament holding next month in Tunis, Tunisia.

Being the final qualifying window for African teams and players to compete at Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, the 54 members of the African Table Tennis Federation (ATTF) excluding Egypt will converge in Tunis on February 27 to 29 for the qualifying tournament in singles and mixed doubles events.

After losing the sole continental slot to Egypt at the 2019 African Games, Nigeria for the first time competed at the World Team Qualifying Tournament in Gondomar, Portugal, but the team narrowly lost to Poland in the second round of the tournament to miss out leaving Egypt as the only African team competing in the team event of Tokyo 2020.

According to the prospectus of the tournament in Tunisia, two players each in men and women from each African Association apart from Egypt, are expected to compete in the singles while one pair from each country including Egypt will compete for the continent’s sole slot in mixed doubles event.

The top four (semifinalists) players in singles (men and women) will qualify for Tokyo 2020, while the winner in the mixed doubles event will pick the African sole slot for Tokyo 2020. Each country cannot qualify more than two players in singles (men and women).

For the President of the Nigeria Table Tennis Federation (NTTF), Ishaku Tikon, the performance of the players in Portugal should be commended being the first time Nigeria would be making attempt at qualifying from the world event. He however, expressed confidence that Nigeria still has the chance to pick the tickets in singles and mixed doubles event in Tunisia.

Tikon said: “I must commend the players for their commitment particularly with their display against the Polish team in Portugal. Having come back from 2-0 down to level up the match at 2-2 showed that we are not push over and we gave a good account of ourselves against the world best. But that is not the end of the journey for us as we have another opportunity at the African qualifiers in Tunisia next month. I am personally confident that we can make it to Tokyo from there.

“I am also using this opportunity to commend the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports particularly the Minister, Sunday Dare for his support since assumption of office and I want to assure him that we will not disappoint in Tunisia as we are hoping for more of their support in our qualification journey to Tokyo 2020,” the NTTF boss said.

Also in an effort to give teams across the globe the chance to be part of the table tennis event in Tokyo, the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) will be organising the final qualifying championship tagged World Singles Qualification Tournament holding in Doha, Qatar on May 28 to 31.


Nigeria battles others for Tokyo slots in Portugal

Nigeria battles others for Tokyo slots in Portugal
Aruna Quadri - Photo by Lord Kinful

Nigeria as the only African country will be making another attempt at qualifying for Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games as the West African nation battles 33 others in the men and 29 teams in the women at the 2020 World Team Olympic Qualifying tournament holding in Gondomar, Portugal on January 22 to 26

From the men and women events, 18 teams made up of nine men and nine women are expected to pick their slots to Tokyo 2020 from the Portugal showdown.

According to the playing format, the matches will be in knockouts stages with the first stage made up of a knockout of 64. The eight teams, which make it to the quarterfinals will qualify to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. while the quarterfinals, semifinals and final matches will not be played.

The 9th and final qualification place for both Men’s & Women’s Teams will be determined via a 2nd knockout stage between teams losing in the round of 16 of the first stage. The matches are best of five individual matches consisting of a doubles and four singles.

also the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) has confirmed the five-man contingent of Nigeria’s men team made up of Aruna Quadri, Olajide Omotayo, Segun Toriola, Bode Abiodun and junior sensation, Taiwo Mati.

The women will be represented by Edem Offiong, Olufunke Oshonaike, Fatimo Bello, Ajoke Ojomu and Cecilia Akpan.

The tournament would give Nigeria another avenue to qualify for Tokyo 2020 after missing the continental sole slot to Egypt at the 2019 African Games in Morocco.

The Multiusos de Gondomar, in Portugal will host the tournament with 9 teams (men and women) qualifying to Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and subsequently be entitled to confirm two athletes to take part in the singles events.


Breaking News: Aruna Quadri begins 2020 as 18th world best

Aruna Quadri begins 2020 as 18th world best

Aruna Quadri - Photo by Lord Kinful

Having ended 2019 as 20th ranked player in the world, Aruna Quadri has started the New Year as the 18th world best player following the release of the January 2020 ranking by the International Table Tennis Federation  (ITTF).

In the rating, Quadri moved up by two steps to remain the undisputed Africa best ranked player being his best ranking in his career.

Also in the Olympic ranking released alongside the world rating on Thursday January 2, 2020, Quadri maintains his status as 18th best as well.

An excited Quadri said the ranking means more hardwork in the New Year.

“As long as I am happy I am starting this year with this ranking;  this also means I need to continue to work harder because remaining on top is more work. So having achieved quarterfinal feat in Rio, I think medal is possible in Tokyo. But I am hoping to qualify soon as the qualifiers is more competitive this year. But in all this would not have been possible without the singular support from Baba Ijebu Bet, a company that kept faith with me and I have been able to attend more tournaments with the hope that I will continue to improve,” he said.

For the Chairman, Baba Ijebu Bet, Sir Kesington Adebutu, the company is excited about the feat achieved by Aruna Quadri on the global stage, having attained his highest ranking under the support of the company.

“We are happy and want to congratulate him as our sports ambassador; we hope he will continue to act as a role model for the youth as we remain steadfast in our support towards his Olympic medal dream in Tokyo”,  Adebutu said.

Omar Assar of Egypt dropped to 29 from 28 while the success story of Senegal’s Ibrahima Diaw continues. He has again moved from a previous best of no.82 to no.76. This makes it the second month running, that he sets the highest world ranking ever achieved by a player from Senegal.

Nigeria’s Olajide Omotayo also slide to 86 from 85 in the world rating.

China’s Fan Zhendong reclaims the summit, as Japan’s Mima Ito moves up to world no.3.

SOURCE : Media Attf