22 teams across Africa will be battling each other at the 2018 ITTF African Championships (2018 ITTFAC) for a place in the 2019 ITTF World Team Cup (2019 ITTFWTC).
Khaled El-Salhy, President of the African Table Tennis Federation (ATTF), believes that by the end of the championships in Mauritius, Africa would have both male and female teams ready to represent the continent at the WTC in November 2019. El-Salhy also stated that the 2018 ITTFAC will serve as a qualification for the 2019 ITTFWTC which is a test event for Tokyo Olympic Games 2020 in Japan.
The 22 countries expected to be represented at the 2018 ITTFAC include host country Mauritius, Nigeria, Egypt, Benin Republic, Cote d’Ivoire, South Africa, Djibouti, Comoros, Libya, Eritrea, Congo DRC, Algeria, Gabon, Angola, Burkina Faso, Congo Brazzaville, Cameroon, Somalia, Rwanda, Seychelles, Madagascar and Togo.
A large number of countries participating in the championships is certainly a great turn of events for the game and a sign of Africa’s development progress thus far.
Meanwhile, El-Salhy added that Mauritius will also play host to a special ITTF/ATTF Forum, tagged “Table Tennis For All For Life”. This will take place on the 3rd and 4th of September.
“We are planning to conduct our new continental strategic plan for the coming years of 2018 to 2024. ATTF is looking to conduct a special strategic plan satisfying the needs of all African associations with a great concentration for the activities through regions in the future in which more small nations could come with less cost,” El-Salhy said.
The ATTF president is quite confident that Mauritius will put together a very successful championship game just like they have done in the past.
“As per experience, we have had very successful events in Mauritius (i.e. African Seniors Championship in 1998 & 2004 plus African Juniors & Cadet Championship in 2015) with a very fantastic performance from Mauritius Table Tennis Association (MTTA). Thus, I am expecting to have a very special event as one of the top professional organisations in Africa,” he said.
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