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2024 ITTF World championship: African teams open account with defeat

Posted : 18 February 2024

African teams got their 2024 Busan ITTF World Championships campaign off to a wrong start as Algeria, South Africa, and Madagascar all suffered defeats in the men's and women's events of the first World Championships in South Korea.

Algeria's teams were defeated 3-0 by Chile and Austria. The Algerian women's trio of Amina Kessaci, Lynda Loghraibi, and Malissa Nasri couldn't match their Chilean counterparts, while South Africans, replacing Tunisia, were also beaten 3-0 by Iran in their opening match.

The Algerian men's team, led by the experienced Mehdi Bouloussa, also fell 3-0 to Austria. The youthful team of Madagascar couldn't withstand the experience of the Czech Republic, falling 1-2 to the European side in their opening group match.

Due to the withdrawal of Quadri Aruna and the late arrival of Bode Abiodun, Nigeria received a walkover by Japan in their opening match, putting them in a tight spot with only two players available for the competition.

On Saturday, February 17, Egypt will start their campaign against Romania, while their female team will take on the Czech Republic.

Expressing regret over Aruna's absence, Segun Toriola described it as a significant setback but expressed optimism that the team could still progress from the group.

"I am aware that the Japanese are afraid of Aruna, and their coaching crew has been worried about the formation of their team. Still, when the news filtered that Aruna would not be coming, they were a bit relieved that they have a bye to the next game. But we can’t give up, even though it is a big blow to the team here in Korea. We will not give up hoping that we can progress from the group," said the former African champion.

In the women's category, defending champions China narrowly escaped defeat against India on Friday, February 16. They had to come back from 2-1 down to beat the Indian team led by Manika Batra 3-2, kicking off their title defense in Korea.


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