Despite putting Egypt on the world map with his recent world ranking as the first African to be rated in top 20 in the world, Omar Assar still believes there is need for the continent to work together to champion a common front at major competition.
Omar Assar who was the first African to qualify for the ITTF World Cup through world rating was bundled out by China’s Ma Long in the main draw of the 2017 World Cup in Belgium is indeed campaigning for unity of purpose among Africans.
“I feel proud to reach the top 20 in the world and like I said earlier this year that that was my first goal. The World Cup in Liege was very special for me as I had to qualify as the first Africa to make through the world ranking this time. However I was injured two weeks before the competition but I could still improve my physical strength and was ready to make a good tournament in Belgium.
“I was not surprised with my performance and honestly I am not satisfied with my performance in Liege. I had bigger dreams and expectations for myself and I am sure I am going to get a medal one day.”
“Aruna Quadri and I are very active in trying to do well in every competition to improve our world ranking and I believe we should have done a better job in Liege. Also, I have learned a lot from Liege and the most important part that I need to improve is the mental part and the level of focus stability during every match.
Omar Assar is not too happy with his display against Ma Long, but hoping to correct some of his mistakes. “I am not happy or satisfied about my game against Ma Long and I believe I could have played much better. Now I am analyzing the match to fix my problems. “
For Omar Assar, African players is closing the gap against some of the world’s best but there must be conscious efforts by those in charge of table tennis in Africa to close the players’ ranks. “The gap between us and the top 10 players is smaller right now but we need to work in the small details as well as work as a team in Africa because as I see now that everyone is working individually. I would like to urge the African Table Tennis Federation (ATTF) to help us to get better.”