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Nigeria, Egypt get tricky draws for 2024 WTTC

Posted : 16 January 2024

Africa's table tennis powerhouses - Nigeria and Egypt have been handed tricky groups in the men's and women's events of the 2024 ITTF World Team Table Tennis Championships (WTTC) taking place in Busan, South Korea.

The draw for the eagerly awaited WTTC Finals Busan 2024 was unfolded on Tuesday, January 16, at the Busan e-Sports Arena, signifying a milestone as Korea Republic hosts this event for the first time.

Anticipation surges as the stage is now set.

In exactly a month, from February 16 to 25, the pinnacle of table tennis talent from across the globe will vie for the prestigious title.

All eyes were already on Busan as the battle lines were drawn. Fans turned out in force for the occasion, and over 3.5 million viewers tuned in to the broadcast to see just where their favorite teams would land.

The stellar audience hints at the atmosphere that awaits around the corner when the matches get underway next month.

Nigeria's men's team has been drawn in Group 5 alongside Asian giants – Japan and Chinese Taipei, as well as Czech Republic and Madagascar.

The women’s team has Germany, Slovakia, Poland, and Mexico to contend with in Group 3, as the top eight from the tournament get automatic tickets to the Paris 2024 Olympic Games in France.

African champion Egypt will battle in Group 8 of the men's event against Portugal, Romania, Iran, and Thailand, while their ladies’ team will slug it out against European teams – France, Czech Republic, Ukraine, and Croatia in Group 8 as well.

Algeria has been drawn in Group 4 in the men and women's events as the men contend with France, Australia, Denmark, and Austria, while their women’s contingent will battle Chinese Taipei, USA, Thailand, and Chile.

Following the withdrawal of Tunisia’s men and women teams, as well as Mauritius’ women's team, South Africa was listed among the contenders, and they have been pitched against Japan, Brazil, Luxembourg, and Iran in Group 2 of the women’s event.

The defending champions, China, occupy the top-seeded positions in both the men’s and women’s team events, as the Women’s Teams of China is placed in Group 1 with Hungary, India, Spain, and Uzbekistan.

While Hungary has a long history of medaling in the championships, they will be hard-pressed to get past the defending champions. Led by World No.1 Sun Yingsha, Team China is chasing their 23rd title in the event and is frontrunners to top the podium once again.

Both the Men’s and Women’s Teams events will see eight groups of five teams looking to advance to the knockout rounds. Each match is decided by the best of five singles matches, with individual matches being the best of five games. Each group will play a round-robin, meaning each team faces off against the other four teams in their group.

After the round-robin is completed, the top three teams from each group advance to the knockout phase. 24 teams advance in total, getting a final shot at the title. Group winners will receive seeded positions, with the rest drawn into the knockout rounds in a way that ensures teams from the same group would not meet again in the first round.

As the countdown to Busan 2024 enters its final month, fans worldwide can eagerly anticipate the world’s top teams vying for the coveted Swaythling and Corbillon Cups.

Across ten days of intense table tennis action, the event will not only showcase unparalleled skill but also mark a historic chapter in Korea Republic’s legacy.

The global celebration of Table Tennis in Busan is where the world’s best athletes converge for an unforgettable display of table tennis prowess and international camaraderie.



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