Aruna Quadri and Olajide Omotayo will today begin the battle against the rest of the world in the men’s singles of the first ITTF World Tour in 2020, German Open holding at GETEC Arena in Magdeburg.
Omotayo who is 2019 African Games champion has been handed a tough second round draw as the 24-year-old will slug it out against South Korea’s Seungmin Cho on table six while Quadri will await one of the winners in the first round of preliminary on table three.
Omotayo had earlier told Sportinglife.ng that he would compete in some of the elite tournaments this year as part of his build up to Olympic Games.
“I hope and believe I can make it to Tokyo 2020. I know that my victory at the African Games means more hard work and that is why I am going to compete in some of the elite tournaments this year. I am starting with the German Open with the hope that playing against the best in the world would toughen me and also help me be in shape for the African Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Tunisia next month,” Omotayo said.
For Quadri, it promises to be a long route to the main draw as only the top 16 players in the world were listed in the seeding list while the Nigerian is rated 18th. This development has promoted Quadri’s participation in the preliminary round which serves as a pathway to the main.
Also, Germany-based Omar Assar of Egypt will lead a six-man Egyptian contingent to the German Open.
Africa’s most improved player in 2019, Ibrahima Diaw will be hoping to repeat the feat that saw him rose to 76 in the world in 2019 as the Denmark-based star will be competing from the second round of the preliminary while he will partner Nigeria’s Omotayo in the men’s doubles.
Two African female stars – Dina Meshref of Egypt and Cameroun’s Sarah Hanffou will also be in action in the women’s singles as part of their build-up to the 2020 Africa Top 16 Cup holding in Tunisia next month.