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Nigeria, Egypt get tough draws at ITTF Team World Cup



Azeez Solanke

African representatives at the 2019 ITTF Team World Cup, Nigeria and Egypt have been handed a tough draw as they will battle World and Olympic Champions – China in the first round of the competition.

The ITTF global showpiece, a test event ahead of the 2020 Olympics, will be holding at Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium.

Twelve of the strongest national associations, in each of the men’s and women’s competitions, are battling for glory between Wednesday 6th and Sunday 10th November 2019.

The roadmap for the first two days of the Team World Cup was confirmed on Tuesday November 5, at the draw which split the teams into groups of three with the top two positions of each group proceeding to the knockout rounds.

African men champions, Nigeria will play the opening match in Group A against China on November 6 while their second group match will be against Chinese Taipei on November 7.

Aruna Quadri will lead the Nigeria team alongside Olajide Omotayo, Bode Abiodun, Segun Toriola and home-based Azeez Solanke.

Read Also: West African table tennis stars converge in Abidjan for regional honours

Like Nigeria, Egypt, who are African champions in the women’s category, will also begin their campaign in Group A against China while their second match will be against Ukraine.

The African Games gold medal winning Egyptian team will be led by the continent’s women singles champion – Dina Meshref, as well as Yousra Helmy. Others are Farah Abdel-Aziz, Reem El-Eracky as well as teenage sensation, Marwa Alhodaby.

As 1st and 2nd seeds in both men’s and women’s competitions, China and Japan are the favourites to meet in Sunday’s finals.

Their strongest challengers among the men’s teams are Germany (3rd) and Korea Republic (4th), while Chinese Taipei (3rd) and Hong Kong, China (4th) are the other top seeds in the women’s team groups.

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