Defending champions ENPPI men’s table tennis club and Ahly women’s table tennis club have been listed as number one seeds for the African Club Championship billed for Thursday, August 1 at the Molade Okoya-Thomas Hall of the Teslim Balogun Stadium in Lagos.
The Ahly team will be led by African women champion Dina Meshref while the best two players in the continent Aruna Quadri of Nigeria and Egypt’s Omar Assar will dorn the colours of ENPPI of Egypt.
Host Nigeria will be represented by SOJ TT Club of Lagos and Remo Stars TT Club of Ogun in the men’s event while G20 of Abuja and Cannan Queen of Calabar will hoist Nigeria’s flag in the women’s event.
Congo DRC, Togo, Ethiopia, Benin Republic, Senegal, and Rwanda will also be represented in the continental club championship.
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The African Club Championship is one of the three events Nigeria is billed to host in August. The 2019 ITTF Africa Cup comes up from August 3-5 while the ITTF Challenge Plus Nigeria Open is scheduled for August 7-11.
According to the African Table Tennis Federation (ATTF) President, Khaled El-Salhy, the tournament would help the players to tune up for the ITTF Africa Cup.
“The African Clubs has a different taste in our events with teams representing clubs and some of them are with different nationality, and we have a special case this year that our top two players in men (Aruna Quadri & Omar Assar) in Africa are registered in one club which is ENPPI of Egypt,” he said.
The ATTF boss believes the tournament would also add glamour the table tennis fiesta holding in Lagos being the first time any African nation would stage three prestigious tournaments at a stretch.
“The tournament is a good test for the African players and a good preparation for the main event “ITTF Africa Cup, which is the qualifying event for ITTF World Cups. We have a good number of entries and I hope ITTF can consider staging a World Clubs Championships in which the Champion in Africa can compete with the champions of other continent.”