Derek Abrefa wanted to cause a scare at the just concluded ITTF Africa Top 16 Cup in Kenya when he stretched eventual champion – Egypt’s Omar Assar to a nail-biting 3-2 in the group phase of the competition.

This performance underscored the quality the Ghanaian possesses ahead of the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia.

Derek Abrefa’s backhand stroke nearly demystified the Egyptian and this gave the Kenyan fans something to cheer during the encounter.

Now being among the first set of athletes in Ghana to be sure of their places in the West African side, Derek Abrefa is going to Australia full of optimistic.

“My target is to improve upon my Commonwealth ranking and make my nation proud by going to Australia to put up the best and win medals for team Ghana. It is going to be a very tough tournament because we have Singapore, India, England, Australia and Nigeria teams who are heavyweights. Also these are very tough teams who are all capable of winning but I have confidence in my Ghanaian team and know that we are capable of beating any of these teams. I believe that in sports, it is not the team with the best players that wins, but the players with the best team that prevails at the end.

“The training we have been gone through and the preparation we have been given, I see Ghana appearing among the best in the table tennis event,” enthused Derek Abrefa.

The Ghanaian number one admitted that his performance against Omar Assar has boosted his confidence heading to Australia. “Playing the likes of Omar Assar who is ranked 16 in the world and battling heroes like Quadri Aruna, my confidence level is like never before because they seem to be ahead of all the players coming to Gold Coast in terms of ranking and strength. The unity among the Ghanaian team is so strong that any team that meets us will not get through us easily.”

“I have confidence in my Ghanaian team because we have gone through proper preparations and we are in good shape to cause upset at Gold Coast,” he added.

Derek Abrefa acknowledges the quality of Nigeria’s Aruna Quadri and England’s Liam Pitchford whom he described as favourites for the men’s singles title.