Africa’s table tennis powerhouses – Nigeria and Egypt will slug it out with eight other nations at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games Qualifying Tournament which takes place in Tunisia on September 11 to 18.
The 2023 African Table Tennis Championships serves as qualifiers for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games and will provide men’s teams like Tunisia, Morocco, Zambia, Benin Republic, Libya, South Africa, Algeria, and Cote d’Ivoire to contest for a continental sole slot in the team event of Paris 2024 Olympic Games in France.
In the women’s event, Nigeria, Egypt, Tunisia, South Africa, Zambia, Uganda, Algeria, Mauritius, and Benin Republic will jostle for the slot.
In the last two Olympic Games in Brazil and Japan, Nigeria and Egypt picked the continent’s tickets in the men’s event while Egypt has been dominating the women’s event to become the only African nation that has been featuring in the team event of the Olympic Games in the last three editions in London 2012, Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020.
Also, the battle for the continent’s sole slot in the mixed doubles event will be contested by Nigeria, Egypt, and South Africa as the winner in the event will represent Africa in France.
According to the President of the African Table Tennis Federation (ATTF) Khaled El-Salhy, this year’s African Championships will also be used as qualification for the 2024 World Championships in Busan, Korea.
“ATTF is ready for the coming African Championships as the major event in 2023, and this year it will be counted not only as qualification for 2024 WTTC in Busan – Korea but also a qualification for 2024 Paris Olympic Games (Team events & Mixed Doubles).
“It is a qualification for both 2024 WTTC & 2024 Paris Olympic Games (Teams/XD), but we have new challenges in our African Championship due to the emergence of new top players who showed their quality at the 2023 ITTF-Africa Cup in Kenya and African Youth Championships in Morocco. Players from Madagascar and Algeria are not going to be pushovers in Tunisia as they are professional players plying their trade in France and they decided to play for their native countries for the first time in African events this year with super results. I see there will be a big challenge for the traditional top teams like Egypt, Nigeria, and Tunisia for the qualification events as well as dominating the podium in Tunis,” the ATTF boss said.
The winners in the men’s and women’s team events will automatically secure their places at the Olympic Games in France while the winner in the mixed doubles event will be Paris-bound in 2024.
El-Salhy however, said that the final continental qualifying tournament for Paris 2024 Olympic Games will take place at the 2024 ITTF-Africa Cup in May, while the host city will be decided at the ATTF AGM in Tunis.