From July 21, the best players from Africa will converge in Yaoundé, Cameroon for the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) Africa Cup, which serves as qualifiers for the World Cups.

From the highest ranked player in the continent, Egypt’s Omar Assar to the 2014 ITTF Star Player, Nigeria’s Quadri Aruna, the fight the sole slot in the men’s singles will be tougher with the presence of veterans – Egypt’s El-Sayed Lashin and the continent most decorated player, Nigeria’s Segun Toriola.

According to the President, Africa Table Tennis Federation (ATTF), Khaled El-Salhy, “For sure all eyes will be on the Men’s Singles with the favourites being Omar Assar and Quadri Aruna when World ranking is taken into consideration. Also the defending champion, El-Sayed Lashin will also be aiming for the title but this again will surely be a tight contest between Nigeria and Egypt in the Men’s event.”

“I believe that the feat achieved by Quadri Aruna at the Liebherr 2014 Men’s World Cup in Germany has increased the interest of all players in the tournament”, said Khalid El-Salhy.   “This year’s competition will give players another opportunity to be part of the qualification for the World Cup and I believe they all want to emulate Quadri Aruna by achieving a similar feat.”   “In the women’s contest, it will be a fight between Egypt’s Dina Meshref and Congo Brazzaville’s Han Xing; they are the best ranked players from Africa in the latest World ranking”, added Khalid El-Salhy, who advised that 12 countries have confirmed their entries for the tournament, an event which promises to raise the standard of organisation and presentation.

“I can see that the Cameroon Table Tennis Federation is well prepared; they have received sponsored equipment to be used in such event”, said Khalid El-Salhy referring to agreements reached between the African Table Tennis Federation and the International Table Tennis Federation.   “With what I have seen and heard, I am satisfied with their preparations, while I am hoping that the tournament will gain widespread media coverage”, added Khalid El-Salhy.

“As usual the equipment sponsors, Butterfly, Tinsue flooring and Double Happiness as a result of contracts with TMS International will provide top level equipment; also TMS International is supporting the prize money.”   “I believe that for the first time this year, we could have more than one representative from Africa to play in the World Cup”, stressed Khalid El-Salhy. “This is due to the high ranking for our top players.”