2020 Nigeria Open canceled, LOC plans alternate tournament

2020 Nigeria Open

Aruna Quadri - 2019 ITTF Seamaster Nigerian Open Champion

The global pandemic, COVID-19 has forced the Local Organising Committee (LOC) and the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) to cancel the 2020 edition of the Challenge Plus Nigeria Open scheduled for August 18 to 22, 2020.

The tournament which is Africa’s elite tournament has attracted top global stars from the world’s top 200 players and the LOC has decided to cancel the tournament this year due to the Coronavirus Pandemic that has ravaged the globe.

According to the Chairman of the LOC, Wahid Oshodi, it is pertinent to be realistic about what is presently happening globally and that is why we have decided to cancel the tournament this year because nobody knows when the pandemic would disappear. He stated that the athletes’ health is always our main priority because they are the main actors. We also have to think about the safety and health of the  large numbers Of fans that throng the stadium to watch the event. 

“We are pained that we have to cancel the tournament this year because all plans were in place to stage a befitting tournament while our sponsors are also looking forward to an exciting tournament considering what we witnessed in 2019. But we are constrained by this pandemic to cancel this year’s edition and we are looking forward to being part of the new World Table Tennis (WTT) series in 2021,” he said.

NOSKOVA Yana - First Place and VIVARELI Debora Second Place

However, there are plans by the LOC, Nigeria Table Tennis Federation (NTTF) and the Lagos State Sports Commission (LSSC) to stage a special invitational tournament toward the end of the year with top players across the world expected to grace the tournament.


Coronavirus – Don’t be alarmed

COVID-19: Don’t be alarmed by increasing numbers
By Laud Nartey

Kojo Oppong Nkrumah - Minister of Information

COVID-19: Don’t be alarmed by increasing numbers; we’re going after the virus – Govt

The Minister of Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, has asked the general public not to entertain fear regarding the upward trend in the case count of the coronavirus infection in Ghana.

He said the Ministry of Health and the Ghana Health Service are embarking on an aggressive search of the virus through enhanced testing. Therefore, the numbers are likely to go up.

He explained that the more numbers the health officials identify, the better for them to be treated by the GHS.

Ghana recorded 26 new cases of the COVID-19 as of Wednesday April 8 bringing the total to 313 with six deaths so far.

The GHS said : “…a total of 313 cases of COVID-19 with six (6) deaths have been recorded.”

The regional distribution of the cases, according to GHS are: “Greater Accra Region has most cases (274) followed by the Ashanti Region (25), Northern Region (10), Upper West Region (1), Eastern Region (1), Upper East Region (1) and Central Region (1).”

It adds that: “A total of 161 cases were reported from the routine surveillance, 37 from enhanced surveillance activities and those from travellers under mandatory quarantine in both Accra and Tamale are 115.

“The period for mandatory quarantine for travellers who arrived 21-22 March 2020 has ended. In all, a total 1,030 travellers were quarantined during the period. Out of these, 79 (7.7%) were positive during the initial testing whilst 951 were negative. Twenty-six (26) among those that were initially negative were found to have converted to be positive at the exit screening, bringing to a total of 105 which constitutes 10.2% among the travellers that were quarantined.

“With regards to enhanced contact tracing and testing, as at 7th April 2020, a total of 11,016 samples from contacts have been processed and 37 (0.34%) have been confirmed positive for COVID-19.”

Addressing the media on Tuesday April 7, Mr Oppong Nkrumah indicated that there was no need to panic over the increasing number because the health officials are embarking on a vigorous search of infected ones through an enhanced testing programme in order to contain the situation.

“Don’t get alarmed when you see the raw case count numbers go up. It is because we are aggressively going out there in search of the virus, we will find these numbers.

“The more numbers we find the better we are disposed for the Ghana Health Service to provide with health care for the sick which is pillar number three of our strategy.

“So please don’t get alarmed it is because we are aggressively testing. We had to do a second testing for those in mandatory quarantine then the enhanced surveillance that has started is what is bringing these numbers up.”


African Olympic Qualifier

African mix doubles qualifiers

Omar Assar Dina Meshref - Egypt

Source : ATTF


Oshonaike, Diaw, Garci others land in Tokyo

Diaw beats Quadri

Ibrahim Diaw - Senegal

Source : ATTF

Let the show begin in Tunis

Let the show begin in Tunis


By Olalekan Okusan

Top Sixteen Table Tennis Men in Africa

All the players have arrived. The venue is set. And the atmosphere is charged. It is the 2020 ITTF Africa Top Cup 16, and it serves off today in Rades, Tunis, the capital city of the North African nation, Tunisia.

From Omar Assar to Dina Meshref who are defending champions in the men and women events respectively, the field is stronger now and things are certainly looking tougher here for would-be conquerors of Africa.

With the presence of Africa’s best ranked player in the world, Aruna Quadri of Nigeria, coupled with the most improved player on the continent, Ibrahima Diaw of Senegal, as well as other title contenders competing in Tunis, securing the ultimate glory in this tournament is as challenging as never before.

To Meshref, who is the most successful player in the competition having won the last three editions in Nigeria, Sudan and Kenya, the standard of play now makes it harder for any player to clinch the title.

“I think it is more challenging for any player to win the title. But for me I just need to focus on my game in the tournament with the hope of achieving new things. I am going to play my game and hope that I can do better,” she said.

Similarly, Diaw who is making his debut in the competition, admitted that winning tournament has become tougher in Africa now.

“I think playing in Africa has really improved my game and I hope I can do well in the tournament. I am really looking forward to an exciting time in Tunisia, especially with the warm welcome I got from the hosts since I arrived,” he said.

Ahmed Saleh is one of the celebrated table tennis players in Africa. Though he is 40 years old, the Egyptian star is not ready to call it quit with the game yet, as he is pumped up to slug it out with the younger heavyweights of the sport at the on-going 2020 ITTF Africa Top 16 Cup in Tunis, capital of Tunisia.

Saleh, who is seeded number two in the men’s singles event, said with the current crop of players on the continent, claiming titles in any major event had become more difficult.

“I think when I won the title in the 1990s, it was a bit easy but today it is much harder because of the kind of players we have in Africa now. They are all among the best in the world and I must admit that anybody that wins here will know that he worked hard for it,” Saleh said.

The Egyptian faces a daunting task in Tunis as he is drawn in Group Two alongside Togo’s Dodji Kokou Fanny, South Africa’s Shane Overmeyer and Kenya’s Brian Mutua.

But Kenyan 21-year-old star, Mutua, also believes that he has been handed a tough challenge.

“I am really in a tough group in this competition but I will surely give it my best and hope that I can qualify from the group and make it to the next stage of the championship. I am here for business because it is a rare privilege for me to represent Kenya in this tournament,” Mutua said.


ITTF 2020 Africa Top 16

All You Need To Know About 2020 ITTF Africa Top 16 Table Tennis Championship

Africa top 16 who wins?

ITTF 2020 Africa Top 16

Source : ATTF

Algerian star eager to halt dominance of Quadri, Assar in Tunisia

2020 ITTF Africa Top 16 Cup: Algerian star eager to halt dominance of Quadri, Assar in Tunisia
By Olalekan Okusan
Sami Kherouf

After hobnobbing with the heavyweights in several major competitions, Sami Kherouf alongside Mohamed Boudjadja at the 2019 African Games became the first set of Algerian players to win gold medal at the multi-sports tournament.

The men’s doubles title was celebrated by the government of Algeria and again, Sami Kherouf is hoping to go beyond this at the 2020 ITTF Africa Top 16 Cup in Tunisia.

The 31-year-old has been listed among the cast for the ITTF Africa Top 16 Cup in Tunisia from February 24 to 26 and the 31-year-old is leaving no stone unturned in his quest to halt the dominance of Aruna Quadri and Omar Assar.

“I am preparing for the ITTF Africa Top 16 Cup like every African competition with the ambition to do better than the last edition. My main goal in Tunisia is to win a medal at Africa Top 16 Cup.”
Being his third appearance in the tournament, Kherouf has been threatening the old order and believes he might alter the order this year.

“I don’t set a specific goal as the dream of every player is to win tournament and this is my ambition which is the will to go farther. I am not bothered about the seeding list as seeding can be altered on table. I don’t care about the rating as I am aiming to win every game I play. I believe the ranking will change after the tournament,” he boasted.

Also, the President of Tunisia Table Tennis Federation (TTTF) Lotfi Guerfel has assured of the country’s readiness to stage a befitting tournaments.

“Everything is ready. We started planning for the events when the announcement was made that Tunisia will host the two tournaments at the Annual General Meeting of African Table Tennis Federation in Morocco in 2019. We have booked the venue; arrangement for the hotel has been made while officials of the African Federation have also come for inspection of facilities. For us, hosting a major competition is the best way to promote table tennis more in Tunisia and it is an opportunity to talk about table tennis in the media as well as to get equipment donations from ITTF,” he said.

Acknowledging the quality of players, he said: “The best players are from Egypt, Nigeria, Tunisia and Algeria, this was again been confirmed at the 2019 African Games in Morocco with the emergence of individual talents like Ibrahima Diaw of Senegal and Sarah Hanffou of Cameroon.”


ATTF unveils seeding list for Africa Top 16 Cup

ATTF unveils seeding list for Africa Top 16 Cup

MESHREF Dina (1 seed Right ) and OMOTAYO Olajide (3 seed Left )

Ahead of the 2020 ITTF Africa Top 16 Cup in Tunisia, the African Table Tennis Federation (ATTF) has unveiled the seeding list for the $25,000 prize money tournament holding on February 24 to 26.

Nigeria’s Aruna Quadri and Egypt’s Dina Meshref have been listed as top seeds in the men and women events at the three-day tournament which serves as the continental qualifiers for the 2020 ITTF World Cup in Germany and China.

The 32 participants (16 men and 16 women) is made up of regional champions and top ranked players made the final list with obvious absence of Nigeria’s veterans – Segun Toriola and Olufunke Oshonaike. The Nigerian duo will be missing out from the competition for the first time in the last one decade having won the tournament in the past to represent Africa at the World Cups.

In the men’s seeding list, Nigeria’s Aruna Quadri who recently joined a German Club in the Bundesliga will lead the array of stars to Tunis, while defending champion, Dina Meshref leads the women’s contingent to the tournament.

Men’s defending champion – Omar Assar of Egypt is seeded number four behind Ahmed Saleh of Egypt and Olajide Omotayo of Nigeria.

From the seeding, Quadri and Assar will likely clash in the semifinal just like what panned out at the 2019 ITTF Africa Cup in Lagos with the Egyptian claiming a 4-2 win to eventual win the tournament.

According to the format of play, both events (men and women) shall be played in a group of Round Robin System with four groups of four players in each category, while all matches will be played best of five games in the first stage.

In the second stage of the tournament, winners and runners-up of all groups will be drawn to play the knockout for all positions till the winners emerge.

The allotment of the players in groups will take place according to the latest African seeding list with the top four seeding players being drawn as headers of each group. The other seeded players will be drawn accordingly using the modified snake system in the groups two by two – The players not ranked, will be allotted by draw.

Also, players from the same country not to be drawn in the same group of the competition.

Winners in the men and women events will represent the continent at the ITTF World Cups later in the year.


Why we signed Aruna Quadri – German Club

Sports Minister hails him

Aruna Quadri

The management of German Club, TTC RhönSprudel Maberzell Fulda has said that they signed up Aruna Quadri following his exploits across the globe particular with his performance against German sports hero – Timo Boll at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil.

In a related development on Tuesday, the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare has hailed  Quadri’s movement to Germany.

 “We celebrate Aruna Quadri, Africa’s number one tennis player on the signing with German Bundesliga Table Tennis league from next season. We congratulate him. All the Way,” declared Dare on his twitter handle.

Writing on its website on Wednesday February 5, after the unveiling of the Nigerian, the club said: “When looking for a suitable candidate to compensate for the departure of service provider Croatia’s Tomislav Pucar, the TTC has now found what it is looking for: Quadri Aruna (born August 9, 1988 in Oyo, Nigeria) will strengthen the TTC from next season!.

“ The 31-year-old Nigerian has repeatedly caused a sensation in the table tennis world in recent years that at the 2016 Olympic Games, he threw the world rankings seventh Chuang Chih-Yuan and Timo Boll out of the competition. Last year he beat top Japanese player Jun Mizutani at the Bulgarian Open. Aruna Quadri, who is currently playing for the Portuguese first division club “Sporting Lisbon”, also knows the Bundesliga players well.

“He recently won against top Bundesliga players Kirill Gerassimenko (Bremen), Ricardo Walther (Düsseldorf) and Darko Jorgic (Saarbrücken) and scored in 2018 twice in the Champions League match against Borussia Düsseldorf. In future, the TTC will be ideally equipped to survive in the Bundesliga.

With an option of extending the contract, the club said: “Aruna Quadri receives a one-year contract with an option for the TTC to add another year. Incidentally, Aruna’s most important sporting goal is this year’s Olympic Games in Tokyo.”

Quadri will team up with German international, Ruwen Filus, who is one of the best defender in the world, as the German has extended his contract by two years with the Central Germany-based club.


Ernest Mawutor Quarcoo

Chairmans Cup 2020 – Revamped

Chairmans Cup on steroids

Ernest Mawutor Quarcoo
Earnest Quarcoo - 2019 Chairmans Cup Champion

Ghana Table Tennis Association has announced the commencement of 2020 Table Tennis season with Chairman’s Cup being the first tournament to be played on February 15 2020. The tournament is sponsored by the Chairman of Ghana Table Tennis Association Mr. Mawuko Afadzinu.

This year’s Chairman’s Cup has broken new grounds, by selecting the much-coveted Fantasy Dome at La Trade Fair Center to be the venue to host the tournament. The venue is famous for hosting world class events in Ghana as such this is a clear message from the association that 2020 is a year were fans and patrons of Table Tennis would be entertained with world class Table Tennis.

Earnest Quarcoo and Celia Baah-Danso are the reigning champions of the Chairman’s Cup. Both players missed out on the opportunity to represent Ghana at the African Games held in Rabat, Morocco in 2019, in which Egypt emerged as the number one team on the African continent, beating their long time rival Nigeria in the final.

Despite the disappointment, the champions kept training and working hard. Their hard work was rewarded in all University Games 2020 when they helped their universities to win medals. Earnest Quarcoo emerged as the best male Table Tennis player in the tournament when he defeated Emmanuel Commey in the men’s singles final to help University of Cape Coast win gold.

Celia Baah-Danso - 2019 Chairmans cup champion

The question on the minds of fans is can they retain their titles? Table Tennis is played in most parts of Ghana, by players of varied ages and groups.

The Chairman’s Cup promises to bring players from every part of Ghana to compete for the total prize money of GHS 6000. The players could be categorized into cadet, senior players otherwise known as active players, the veterans and those who play on the streets.

Information reaching GH. Table Tennis indicates that each of the groupings believes in their ability to have a champion emerged from them. This has created a positive competitive atmosphere ahead of the Chairman’s Cup.

The veteran’s group is promising the active players a repeat of the treatment metered to them in last year’s tournament. The street players, on the other hand, are also promising to dominate with their brand of Table Tennis. The active players are also saying the day would see them eliminate all the groups. The cadets on the other hand are making references to the Japanese sensation and wonder kid Harimoto Tomokazu and are promising to carry the day. Share your thoughts as to who would carry the day in our comments section.

The stage is therefore set for a showdown at the Fantasy Dome at International Trade Fair Center La Accra- Ghana on the 15th of February 2020.