Being the only player to do Africa proud at the 2013 edition of the World Championship in Paris, France, Egypt’s Omar Assar believes he is looking beyond this performance considering the giant stride he made in the last two months.

Being the second player in the continent to be seeded among the top 64 players in the men’s singles, the Lagos Open champion hinges his optimism on the quality of preparation by the Egyptian team in the last four weeks.

“I know for any African team to do well in China, it all depends of preparation because I can only talk about the Egyptian team because we had an extensive training at the new national camp in Cairo and this has put us in good shape for this competition. And from what I see the Nigerian players doing in training, I believe if they can practicalise this in on table, they are also in good shape to do well,” he said.

The ITTF Africa Senior Champion added: “After the European season ended, we have been training well for this championship in Cairo. So technically and tactically, we are ready for this tournament. There is no pressure on me at all considering my improvement in the last two months. I know people still talk about my performance at the 2013 edition where I made it to the round of 32 before losing narrowly by 4-3 to Greece’s Panagiotis Gionis but for me I am looking beyond this and to be able to do better than that. I really want to do better this year because African players are now be looked up so we must raise our game to be among the top in this tournament. There is no doubt that playing in China especially with the fans always there, you are sure you can beat any player. But personally I am hopeful and believing that African players can do well,” Assar said.

For Assar the feat achieved by Nigeria’s Aruna Quadri would have made the continent the cynosure of all eyes but this should make the players from African to be relaxed believing that they will run over others. “I think we need to do something as Africans in this competition and I believe we can all perform well than what I did in 2013,” he added.