Despite aiming to equal Aruna Quadri’s quarterfinal berth at the ITTF World Cup, Egypt’s Omar Assar at the weekend failed to go beyond the second round of the 2015 edition of the championship in Sweden.

At the 2014 World Cup in Germany, Quadri won three matches against top rated players to set up a quarterfinal against eventual champion, China’s Zhan Jike where his performance in the encounter earned him the 2014 Star Point at the ITTF Star Award held in Dubai. Despite losing 4-2 to the former World and Olympic Champion, Quadri received the loudest ovation from the German fans who were thrilled by the display of the African. The outing in Germany shot Quadri to the top 30 in the world ranking as the first African to achieve such feat.

However, at the weekend in Halmstad, Sweden, Egypt’s Assar as the African flagbearer qualified from the group, which has Brazil’s Gustavo Tsuboi and Portugal’s Tiago Apolonia.

Despite not starting well in the group with a 3-4 loss to Portugal’s Tiago Assar’s 4-3 win over Brazil’s Tsuboi qualified the North African to the second round (Round 0f 16) where he was unlucky to be drawn against current World Champion, China’s Ma Long.

Although, he started well against the Chinese but Assar’s backhand failed him when it mattered most as Ma Long wasted no time to win the match at 4-1 to end Africa’s hope in the tournament.

A not-too-happy Assar admitted that matching Quadri’s quarterfinal feat would remain a tall order for him or any player in Africa but expressed satisfaction with his performance in Sweden.

“The match against Ma Long was for sure my toughest match. I had a game plan and I made a good start but I became too passive; it’s not the first time it’s happened and it’s a problem I have to address.” He lamented.

“I’m pleased with how I played against Ma Long, I had opportunities in the second game; I have to improve my backhand but most importantly in such cases I must keep active, keep positive and of course take my chances,” he added.

“Throughout the match there was a small group of supporters from the Middle East region of the World supporting. Also there was support from another source. All the time Nigeria’s Quadri Aruna has been in touch with me, always encouraging me; he’s really great guy; what he did last year by reaching the quarter-finals was fantastic for Africa”, stressed Assar.

“I didn’t feel under any pressure because of Quadri’s achievements last year; not at all,” he admitted.