From the knockout draw conducted on Saturday, August 3, number one seed, Aruna Quadri of Nigeria may slug it out against Egypt’s Omar Assar in the semifinal of the men’s singles at the 2019 ITTF Africa Cup holding at the Molade Okoya-Thomas Hall of Teslim Balogun Stadium.
From the eight groups, two top players from the groups advanced to the knockout stage and Quadri has been drawn against Congo DRC’s Gedeon Kassa, while Assar will battle Congo Brazzaville’s Christ Bienatiki.
The knockout stage of the tournament starts on Sunday, August 4, 2019.
But Senegal’s Ibrahima Diaw who is making his debut at the continental Cup believes he can stand out in Lagos.
“I am really impressed with the quality of play and the organization, which show that Africa has come of age. The condition of the play is very good. It is just like what obtains in Europe and I am really happy making my debut at the continental tournament,” he said.
The Denmark-based rising star believes he has what it takes to conquer Africa. His words: “I think I have the chance to win this competition because I am playing well at present. Everybody is also playing well but I am here to make a name for myself and do my country proud.
“There is no doubt that the quality of players in the competition has again confirmed that Africa has the talents. I am particularly impressed with the organization. I was a bit surprised that we could have such a conducive atmosphere.”
Reviewing his triumph over Idowu in his first game, Diaw said: “I was a bit nervous in the first game because we used to play against each other in Europe. I was losing the first set at 4-8 but I was able to recover and won the game.
“But after winning the second set, I was confident that I could win the contest and when he tried to come back in the third game, I was stronger than him mentally. He is such a good player with a superb backhand.”