ITTF World Cup: Aruna, Assar get opponents

Ouadri Aruna, Nigeria’s sole flagbearer at the ITTF World Cup, Macao 2024, has been drawn in Group 15 of the men’s singles, a statement by the African Table Tennis Federation (ATTF) .

According to the statement, the Nigerian will slug it out against Portugal’s Marcos Freitas and Puerto Rico’s Daniel Gonzalez.

Similarly, Egypt’s Omar Assar has also been handed the tough task of progressing within the group.

Forty-eight players have been drawn into 16 groups of three players in each group, with the winner in each group advancing to the second stage of the competition.

Aruna, who has been a regular face at the ITTF World Cups, remains the first and only African to have reached the quarterfinal stage of the $1 million prize money tournament.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Nigerian is expected to begin his campaign against Portugal’s Freitas on April 15, while his last group match will be on April 16 against Puerto Rico’s Gonzalez.

Also, Egypt’s trio of Omar Assar, Ahmed Saleh, and Mohamed El-Beiali have been drawn into groups 16, 11, and 9, respectively.

African Games champion Assar will slug it out against Sweden’s Truls Moregard and Iran’s Noshad Alamiyan.

Egyptian veteran Saleh has been handed a tough group 11, as he will battle former European champion Dan Qui of Germany and Japan’s Shunsuke Togami.

El-Beiali, who is debuting at the ITTF World Cup, will jostle for the top spot against Korea’s Jang Woojin and France’s Simon Gauzy in group nine.