Ahead of 2017 ITTF Africa Cup, the defending champion, Omar Assar has admitted that his title defence will not be without a snag as the Egyptian admitted that Nigeria’s Aruna Quadri remains the only threat to his ambition in Agadir, Morocco.
Apart from the 2016 Africa Top 16 Cup that Assar bowed to Quadri, the 2015 African Games gold medalist has mopped up all the titles at stake in Africa in the last two years.
Fortunately for the Egyptian, it was the same location and venue that he claimed the 2016 ITTF African Championships at the expense of Quadri that this year’s ITTF Africa Cup will take place and Assar has described Morocco as a good hunting ground for him.
“Morocco is a very special country for me because I have golden memories there. I have been lucky to win many competitions there but I am still very hungry to win and perform very well in Morocco this year ‘Incha Allah,” he said.
In identifying the only threat to his ambition in Morocco, Omar Assar said: “Aruna Quadri is the highest ranked player in Africa currently. He has showed a good performance in the French league and his last ITTF World Tour in Hungary, this surely makes him a major threat to all Egyptian players in Morocco. Also I must admit that my teammates in Egypt too are playing well lately.”
Omar Assar whose ranking from 58 in June will surely shoot up following his superb exploits at the 2017 China Open is not leaving any stone unturned by admitted that, “Of course I feel the tournament will be tougher this year because of the experience of most African players who are now playing professionally in Europe. Most of them are also very active on the ITTF World Tour and this makes the competition very interesting and exciting this year,” Omar Assar confessed.
Acknowledging how the title is very important to him, Omar Assar said: “The ITTF Africa Cup is a very special competition for me as it is the only African title I had won once. For sure I would love to add it to my collection so I am trying to be 100 percent for the tournament in Morocco this year.”
Source: The Nation.