Yaoundé, Cameroon, July 24, 2015: The Egyptian pair of Omar ASSAR and Dina MESHREF are the 2015 ITTF-Africa Cup Champions and in turn have qualified for the ITTF Men’s and Women’s World Cup’s later this year.
The 2015 ITTF-Africa Cup, which brings the best of the best African players together, concluded today in Yaoundé, Cameroon.
To clinch the prestigious World Cup spot for the first time, ASSAR defeated the 2014 champion and ITTF Male Table Tennis Star Quadri ARUNA (NGR) 11-4, 11-4, 11-7, 6-11, 11-7 in a very entertaining final.
“I was well prepared for this tournament and now I can play in the World Cup”, said 24 year old ASSAR. “I have been in China for one month preparing and I was focused to win this tournament.”
ASSAR will be very much at home at the Liebherr 2015 ITTF Men’s World Cup; the tournament will be staged later this year in Halmstad, Sweden where he lives.
“I only dropped two games throughout the tournament and I didn’t lose a match; I am happy with my performance overall. In the final, I was positive and I did not give Aruna the chance to attack, I put him on the defence.”
Becoming champion in Cameroon meant that MESHREF is off to her third Women’s World Cup, which will be staged in Sendai, Japan in late October.
To clinch the title, MESHREF defeated her close friend and teammate Nadeen EL-DAWLATLY in the final 11-5, 11-7, 9-11, 12-10, 11-6.
“It is always a difficult match playing against Nadeen, my teammate, because we practise together and we know each other’s weaknesses”, stated MESHREF. “I hope to make this, my third appearance at the World Cup, a memorable one because I have yet to win a match in my two appearances.”
The ITTF World Cups are amongst the most prestigious events in the world, with only the top 18 players qualifying for the event through the continental cups, plus the world champion and one wildcard.
The Liebherr 2015 Men’s World Cup will be held in Halmstad, Sweden on 16-18 October and the 2015 Women’s World Cup in Sendai, Japan on 30 October – 1 November.
Qualifications for the 2015 ITTF Men’s & Women’s World Cups:
• Current World Champion: MA Long (CHN), DING Ning (CHN)
• NN Table Tennis Club 2015 ITTF-Europe Top 16 Cup: Dimitrij OVTCHAROV (GER), Marcos FREITAS (POR), Panagiotis GIONIS (GRE), LIU Jia (AUT), Petrissa SOLJA (GER), Irene IVANCAN (GER)
• GAC Group 2015 Asian Cup: XU Xin (CHN), Jun MIZUTANI (JPN), FENG Tianwei (SIN), LIU Shiwen (CHN)
• K-Sports 2015 ITTF-Oceania Cup: William HENZELL (AUS), LAY Jian Fang (AUS)
• Double Fish 2015 ITTF-North America Cup: Jimmy BUTLER (USA), ZHANG Mo (CAN)
• 2015 ITTF-Latin America Cup: Gustavo TSUBOI (BRA), Caroline KUMAHARA (BRA)
• 2015 ITTF-Africa Cup: Omar ASSAR (EGY), Dina MESHREF (EGY). —- ITTF