Aruna 2 (1)

African Table Tennis Federation

Quarterly News Letter

The Novel Coronavirus has brought the world to its knees. Causing suspension of major events around the globe. For this reason, the African Table Tennis Federation has decided to publish a newsletter every quarter to inform player, coaches and administrators of happenings in the game on the African continent .

These are some of the highlights of this quarters newsletter:

  • The president of ATTF remarks.
  • Mohamed Saleh still up for the game at the age of 41.
  • Excitement envelops Africa over Duban 2023.
  • 2020 ITTF virtual AGM.
  • Top 20 men and women in African Table Tennis.
  • The golden rules of the serve.
  • Kenyan computer scientist in search of global glory.
  • Quadri Aruna lifts Nigerian Paralympians in the Tokyo Olympic medal bid.
  • African stars relish restart experience in China.


To find out more kindly download the newsletter

SOURCE :

African Table Tennis Federation

Aruna 2 (1)

Breaking News

Breaking News

Aruna, Omotayo, others for WTT tournaments in Qatar

Quadri Aruna and Olajide Omotayo are among the top African stars listed for the first official events of the World Table Tennis (WTT) in Qatar on March 3 to 13.

The two events which have $600,000 as prize money will take place at Lusail Sports Arena in Doha.

According to the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF), the Middle East Hub will feature two tiers of the new WTT event structure with WTT Contender Doha kick-starting the tournament before players move onto the first WTT Star Contender event the following week, providing the perfect preparation for some of the world’s leading stars to be challenged by the best up-and-coming athletes in table tennis.

Aruna who is the highest-rated African in the world ranked 21 will join world-class talent set to light up Doha in the men’s events such as Xu Xin (China, world-ranked 2), Tomokazu Harimoto (Japan, WR 5), Hugo Calderano (Brazil, WR 6) and Lin Yun-Ju (Chinese Taipei, WR 7). Other elite players taking to the table, including Mattias Falck (Sweden, WR 8), Jang Woojin (Korea Republic, WR 11), and Dimitrij Ovtcharov (Germany, WR 12) in the men’s draw.

However, Omotayo, Taiwo Mati, and Nurudeen Hassan have been listed to compete in the qualifiers for WTT Contender Doha from February 28 to March 2 with successful players listed for the main event on March 3 to 6.

Omotayo is expected to fight for a place in the main event from the qualifiers while Mati and Hassan are among the reserve players to be considered after the list of players has been finalized by the organizers.

Aruna is one of the top 10 players in the world listed for the two events that will start his campaigns from the main event of the championships.

The WTT Contender event will feature a singles main draw of 32 players per gender and 16-pair doubles per gender and in the mixed doubles. The qualifying draw will feature 96 players per gender in the singles and 32 pairs in the mixed doubles with $200,000 as prize money.

The qualifying round of the WTT Star Contender Doha will commence on March 6 to 7 while the main event will hold from March 8 to 13.

The WTT Star Contender event will consist of a singles main draw of 48 players per gender and 16-pair doubles per gender and in the mixed doubles. The qualifying draw will feature 64 players per gender in the singles and 32 pairs in the mixed doubles while the prize money is $400,000.

SOURCE :

Nigeria Table Tennis Federation

Emmanuel Asante Excels in 2020

Emmanuel Asante Excels in 2020

Emmanuel Kwasi Asante

The year 2020 has come to an end and would be remembered as one of the years in which the world saw lots of lives being lost to the Novel Coronavirus.

However, before Covid-19 times were normal and the Ghana Table Tennis Association organized its first tournament of the year, The Chairmans Cup in February. The event was a success which saw players from different age categories competing in various divisions.

Emmanuel Kwesi Asante a player of the Ghana Immigration Service, who played in the senior category and represented Ghana in the last Common Wealth games put up a splendid performance to emerge as the third-best player in the senior division. He lost to the eventual winner, Emmanuel Commey of Ghana Immigration Service, in a keenly contested semi-final match.

Emmanuel Kwasi Asante
E. K. Asante - Third place award presented by E.A Quaye former African Champion

In spite of the global pandemic and the down-sizing of sporting activities, Emmanuel K. Asante did not rest on his laurels. He got himself busy by participating in Ping Pong For Peace, on the 27th of November in Takoradi.  The tournament organized by NK Foundation in conjunction with Ping Sans Frontieres, aimed at preaching peace ahead of the 2020 general elections in Ghana.

E.K Asante did not disappoint, he won the tournament, by defeating Romeo Ansah Carl by three games to one ( 3 – 1 ).

Hungry for success and wanting to prove himself as the best player in the Eastern region of Ghana, E.K Asante participated in the AFRINTO 2020 championship. This was an open tournament organized by the New Juaben Table Tennis Club, with sponsorship from Nana Yaw Boateng a former Ghana national player based in Australia, and his friends.

The tournament saw players from across the length and breadth of the country, participating in several age categories. Emmanuel K. Asante once again emerged as the champion of the senior’s division when he defeated James Marfo, three games to 1 ( 3: 1 ) in the final.

We at GH. Table Tennis would like to congratulate Emmanuel Kwesi Asante for a good job done in 2020. 2021 is upon us and we seek the guidance of the Good Lord in finding a lasting solution to the pandemic, in order for our sports to return to normalcy.

ITTF re-appoints Oshodi as Chairman of Nomination Committee

2020 ITTF World Cup: Toriola, Oshonaike tip Aruna Quadri to excel in China

Wahid Enitan Oshodi - Chairman of ITTF Nomination Committee

For his sterling display coupled with his exceptional leadership style, the Executive Committee of the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) has reappointed Nigeria’s Wahid Enitan Oshodi as the Chairman of its Nomination Committee for another term of office.

In a statement signed by ITTF Secretary General, Raul Calin, the composition of the Nominations Committee chaired by Oshodi for the term 2020-2022 was confirmed at the ITTF Executive Committee meeting held on Monday December 21 2020.

Oshodi, Vice President, ITTF Africa Western Region rose from being a member of the committee as the first Nigerian and African to chair the highest committee in the world body is expected to serve for another two-year term (2020-2022) with most of its former members returning with the exception of one new member who is joining the team for the first time.

Oshodi, a former president of the Nigeria Table Tennis Federation (NTTF) and the brain behind Africa’s elite table tennis tournament, ITTF Challenge Nigeria Open will lead the six-man committee with Qatar’s Abdulla Al-Mulla as his deputy while other members of the committee are Sandra Deaton (England), Andreas Georgiou (Cyprus), Lofti Guerfel (Tunisia) and Kook-Hee An (Korea Republic).

ITTF President, Thomas Weikert and ITTF CEO Steve Dainton as well as Presidents of the Continental Federations and Executive Committee as Masahiro Maehara (Japan) as part of the Ex-officio members in the committee.

The President of African Table Tennis Federation (ATTF) Khaled El-Salhy described Oshodi’s re-appointment as a plus to Africa.

“I have the great pleasure to congratulate you on behalf of all my colleagues of ATTF Executive Council (EC) for the full trust from ITTF EC to renew your assignment as the Chairman of the ITTF Nominations Committee for the coming period (2020-2022). Such congratulation is not only for you personally but also for all Africa to secure such an important mission in favour of our continent due to your great efforts and hard work in all fields as usual,” he said.

For the Secretary General, Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC), Olabanji Oladapo, the reappointment of Oshodi was a confirmation of the confidence of members of ITTF Board.

“Congratulations on your re-appointment as the chairman of the high ranking ITTF Nomination Committee. Being the only African nominated to this position, your appointment confirmed the confidence members of the ITTF Board have in your extraordinary performance in the position. May God continue to direct you in all your undertakings; I wish you well,” Oladapo said.

An excited President of NTTF Ishaku Tikon described Oshodi’s re-appointment as a confirmation of his exceptional leadership trait particularly his immense contribution to the sport in Nigeria and the continent. 

“I am not surprised that my predecessor was reappointed again as the chairman of the highest body in ITTF and this is a confirmation of his depository of knowledge coupled with his efforts at regional and continental levels which have been recognized globally by the table tennis family. This is also a good development for Nigeria having its own at the helm of the sport in the world,” Tikon said.

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Quadri Aruna lifts Paralympians to Tokyo 2021

Quadri Aruna lifts Paralympians to Tokyo 2021

Africa’s best table tennis player Quadri Aruna has donated equipment valued at over 1400 Euros (N.75m) to two athletes – Isau Ogunkunble and Faith Obazuaye.

At a presentation held in Lagos on Tuesday, December 15, the Rio Olympic Games quarterfinalist gave support to Paralympians in their quest to make Nigeria proud at Tokyo 2021 Paralympics Games.

Aruna said the gesture was borne out of his resolve to give back to society especially to the Paralympians that have been making the country proud despite their challenges.

In a short video remark by Aruna said: “On behalf of myself and Aruna Sports Shop, we are always happy to support athletes in Nigeria and this is a way of giving back. Having experienced the same kind of support in my first Olympic Games in London 2012. I think it is very important to support the Paralympians as well who have been doing the country proud for decades. I hope this support will motivate them and help them to do much better in Tokyo, Japan.”

For the second Vice President, Nigeria Table Tennis Federation (NTTF), Alderson Bankole, the kind gesture of Aruna should be emulated by top players. “I am personally impressed with the gesture of Aruna who is fond of thinking about others and I believe other top players should take a cue from this. I believe this will go a long way in motivating the athletes to aim high in Tokyo. I commend him and I look forward to a good performance from the athletes at Tokyo,” Bankole said.

In his remarks, Technical Director, NTTF, Adesoji Tayo, the donation is a thoughtful gesture from Aruna whose generosity toward the less-privileged cannot be underestimated. “I am aware that Aruna has been doing a lot for young players and for him to also remember our Paralympians is inspiring for most of us and I believe he will continue to grow from strength to strength in his endeavors. Others should emulate him and I hope the players will see this gesture as a motivating factor to excel in Tokyo,” Tayo said.

National para table tennis coach Sunday Odebode, Aruna must be commended for thinking about the Paralympians, “I hope and believe this will help the players to focus more in training and excel at Tokyo,” Odebode said.

Ogunkunle and Obazuaye are African champions in class four and 10 respectively while Obazuaye is also a silver medalist at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia and they will be making their debut at the Paralympics Games in Tokyo, Japan.

Responding, Ogunkunle and Obazuaye lauded Aruna for supporting them while wishing him well in his career.

The branded Gewo equipment includes three pairs of rubber, blade, bat cover, bag, shirts, shorts, tracksuit, shoe, socks, towel, and cap.

SOURCE :

Nigeria Table Tennis Federation

Abrefa advises Sportsmen ahead of the election

Abrefa advises Sportsmen ahead of election

Derek Abrefa - Six Time Table Tennis SWAG Award winner

The elections are here once again and it is the responsibility and right of every citizen including athletes to vote.

GH Table Tennis caught up with Derek Abrefa Ghana’s ace Table Tennis Player and  2019 African Games general team captain to share his thoughts about the upcoming elections and this is what he had to say. 

“I urged all sportsmen and women to vote in their numbers. It is the civil responsibility of every Ghanaian, and as a matter of fact, all athletes.

I, therefore, urge top sports athletes who have great influence in their various homes, organizations, and communities to use their influence as sports icons to affect the 2020 general elections positively.

The coronavirus has not left us entirely. As athletes, let us continue to observe the covid-19 safety protocols as we step out on election day to vote.

I express gratitude to the Sports Ministry for the YEA financial package to Sportsmen and Women Nationwide.

Also, I would like to thank  the GOC and the GTTA for ensuring the safety of athletes across the country during these uncertain times.

Furthermore, I would wish to thank the Ghana Immigration Service for the continued support”

We at GH Table Tennis wishes to urge all Ghanaians who have registered to vote, to perform their civic responsibility and to ensure not to take part in any electoral violence. 

2020 ITTF World Cup: Aruna Quadri gets German, Slovenian opponents

2020 ITTF World Cup: Aruna Quadri gets German, Slovenian opponents 

Quadri Aruna - World Cup group stage draw

Nigeria’s flagbearer at the 2020 ITTF World Cup Aruna Quadri has been pitched against Germany’s Patrick Franziska and Slovenia’s Darko Jorgic in group three of the first round stage of the championship taking place in Weihai, China.

The tournament is one of the four Restart Competitions lined-up by the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) for the return of international events following COVID-19 pandemic which broke out across the globe. International table tennis events have been on hold since March 2020 and the Restart tournaments include, Women’s World Cup, Men’s World Cup, ITTF Finals and WTT championship scheduled for Macau later this month as well.

Already, the Women’s World Cup has concluded with China’s Chen Meng emerging as champion in her maiden outing and the Men’s World Cup which has Quadri and Egypt’s Ahmed Saleh as Africa’s representatives kicks off on Friday November 13 to 15 at Weihai Nanhai Olympic Sport Centre.

At the draw held on Thursday November 12, Quadri will slug it out for a place in the main draw against German Franziska while his final group match will be against the young Slovenian who is considered as one of the emerging stars from Europe.

According to ITTF, the Nigerian is regarded as one of the dark horses of the competition who is making his sixth World Cup appearance since making his debut in 2009 in Moscow, Russia.

Quadri is a bronze medallist at the 2019 ITTF Africa Cup, and he is seeded no.13 among the 21 players competing in the three-day tournament.

“A regular at world title events, Quadri Aruna is no stranger to pushing the table tennis elite to the limit. Aruna will want to improve his best quarter-final finish of six years ago in Düsseldorf, as he could not go past the round of 16 in last year’s edition. What will the African representative bring to the table in Weihai?,” ITTF wrote.

The top two players in the four groups are expected to advance to the main draw where they will be drawn against the top eight seeds in the main draw of the championship.

 

SOURCE : 

Nigeria Table Tennis Federation

2020 ITTF World Cup: Toriola, Oshonaike tip Aruna Quadri to excel in China

2020 ITTF World Cup: Toriola, Oshonaike tip Aruna Quadri to excel in China

Quadri Aruna - TTC RhonSprudel Fulda-Maberzell

As Aruna Quadri awaits his possible opponents in the 2020 ITTF World Cup holding in China on Thursday November 12, Africa’s most successful table tennis players, Segun Toriola and Olufunke Oshonaike have expressed optimism on the performance of the Nigerian against some of the best in the world.

Toriola and Oshonaike have proved great ambassadors for table tennis over the years.

Both players have featured at past ITTF World Cup events and, despite approaching their late 40s, they are still active for their clubs and countries.

Notably last year, Oshonaike sealed qualification to her seventh Olympic Games, becoming the first female table tennis player to achieve the feat.

Ahead of the upcoming ITTF World Cups and ITTF Finals in China on November 13 to 17, Toriola and Oshonaike analysed the events which mark the return of international action after seven months of inactivity across the globe due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“For me, these events are going to be a little bit strange because we can’t comment about the players’ recent form, but I know the Chinese always try to be in shape and ahead of the game. I am sure it is not going to be easy for many players because during the COVID-19 lockdown most players across the world were not able to practise very well, then after the lockdown, players tried to come back, but it has not been easy for players in terms of managing their feelings and confidence,” Toriola said.

He added: “Although some of the European countries have started playing leagues, these are very different to competing in international events, so it is not going to be easy for players. I think that the Chinese are the favourites because during the lockdown they were still practising and also played some competitive events in China. They are always well prepared and well organised. However, the Chinese players need to watch out for Tomokazu Harimoto of Japan, because he is a very dangerous player.”

It is going to be difficult for Africans at the World Cups. It’s a big challenge for Egypt’s Ahmed Saleh, particularly with the pace of the present players. Also considering his style of play, he is an experienced athlete who defends a lot, but I think that Quadri Aruna can go far in the competition. On his day, he has the quality to match anyone in the world.”

Meanwhile, an excited Oshonaike cannot wait to compete internationally and she commended the ITTF for managing to stage international table tennis events amidst the global pandemic.

“I’m so very happy that finally we are starting again and that the ITTF can now hold events again. I am overjoyed about that. The world’s best players will be competing at these events. For me, the top contenders in the women’s events are coming from Asia. Even though a lot of Europeans have tried hard to break into the quarter-finals of major events, it has often been hard for them.

“Egypt’s Dina Meshref has really been pushing to be up there but it will be a tough challenge. I am just being very realistic because if we have to see the way the Chinese and Japanese are playing, they are very fast and it is going to be very difficult to overcome them. I wish Dina all the best.

“In the men’s event, nothing is impossible. (Quadri) Aruna has been in the quarter-finals before in 2014, but that was a very different time. Now the players are just returning to action again. Meanwhile, the Chinese have been training hard so they have better chances. I just hope that Aruna goes out there to try his best by just being relaxed because if you are more relaxed in table tennis there can be a lot of surprises!” 

 

 

SOURCE : 

Nigeria Table Tennis Federation

I want to be a good ambassador of Nigeria in China, says Aruna Quadri

I want to be a good ambassador of Nigeria in China, says Aruna Quadri

Quadri Aruna - TTC RhonSprudel Fulda-Maberzell

Aruna Quadri has been leading TTC RhönSprudel Maberzell Fulda in the Table Tennis Bundesliga (TTBL) and the 32-year-old is yet to find his feet in the league and the Nigerian promises that with the return of the spectators, he hopes to raise his game. The Nigerian will compete in the ITTF Restart Tournaments next month and he promises to be a good ambassador.

 

Q1. You will travel to China to play a World Cup tournament (November 13-15 in Weihai) and the ITTF finals (November 19-22 in Zheng). What are your goals?

 

“My goals are always the same: I want to improve my performance and be a good ambassador for my country, my sponsors, and my club”

 

Q2. The Olympic Games in Tokyo, which have been postponed by a year, are on the agenda for the coming year. That would be her third. Do you believe in an event?

 

“In the current situation, hardly anything can be planned. Of course, the Olympic Games are something special. But health and safety come first.” 

 

Q3. You are 32 years old. How long do you want to continue practicing your sport as a professional?

 

“I hope for a few more years. I will continue to play table tennis as long as my body allows it and my performance is good.”

 

 Q4. Why do you find it so difficult against opponents who are far behind you in the world rankings?

 

“It is still very difficult for me to adapt to the level of play in Germany. But I firmly believe that I will be able to do that very soon. The Bundesliga is really strong and challenging. I think the chance of winning is always around 50:50. One shortcoming was certainly having to play some games without spectators, like in Bad Königshofen and Düsseldorf. That is not satisfactory for me; the morale was not the same as in an audience game. Spectators are very important to me, which is an additional incentive for me.”

 

Q5. Is there a big difference between Bundesliga games and international tournaments?

 

“The Bundesliga and international tournaments are very similar. The level of play is very high here.”

 

Q6. Your weapon is the forehand. Your weak point is the backhand. The opponents use this consistently. How can you solve the dilemma?

 

“I am working very hard to become even more variable and I am confident that I am on the right track. I’m looking forward to doing my best for the team.”

Q7. They stayed in Maberzell for a few weeks and trained in Fulda, Frankfurt, and Düsseldorf. How do you like it in Germany?

 

“Germany is a beautiful country with nice people. I enjoy my stay in Fulda very much.”

 

Q8. You are Nigerian, have a Portuguese passport, and live in Lisbon with your family. What do you feel like?

 

“For me, Portugal is my second home, this is where I like to live. But Nigeria is my home. At the end of the season, we go on vacation there and visit relatives and friends.”

 

Q9. As a result of your assignments in the Bundesliga, you are abroad more often than before. Do you miss your family?

 

“I am a family person and always enjoy being with my wife and children. When I’m out and about, I keep in touch with them every day via the Internet. Even when I’m in Lisbon, the focus is on training. Table tennis is my job. It is very important to me that I can take good care of my family through my work.”

 

Q10. In the fight to stay in the league, the two games on November 27th against promoted Bad Homburg and on December 4th in Grenzau are immensely important. How big is the pressure?

 

“We’re professionals and we’re under pressure in every match – especially in both games, of course, because we urgently need the points.”

 

Q11. Are you worried that you might not be able to stay up?

 

“Naturally. But I think we will improve from game to game and we have even better days ahead of us. Hopefully, there will be a happy ending for us.”

 

Q12. Coronavirus turns life upside down – sport is no exception. With what you know today, would you have decided to join the table tennis Bundesliga again?

 

“In any case. It was always my dream to play in the Bundesliga. I am very happy and satisfied that Maberzell gave me the opportunity. And I will do everything I can not to disappoint the club and the spectators.”

 

 

SOURCE : 

Nigeria Table Tennis Federation