African No. 1 Table Tennis player, Quadri Aruna, has expressed concerns about the schedule clash between the 2023 African Games and the 2024 Singapore Smash Event.
The 13th African Games are scheduled to take place from the 8th to the 23rd of March 2024 in Ghana, while the Singapore Smash Event is slated for the 7th to the 17th of March 2024.
Aruna has appealed to the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) and World Table Tennis (WTT) to intervene with the African Table Tennis Federation (ATTF) to reschedule the Table Tennis event at the African Games to run from the 15th to the 23rd of March.
The Commonwealth Silver medalist stated, “The African Table Tennis Federation (ATTF) has decided to schedule the games during the Singapore Smash events, preventing several African players who qualified for Singapore Smash from participating.
“African players are urging the ITTF and WTT to address this issue and help persuade the ATTF to request a change in the dates for the Table Tennis event at the African Games to be from the 15th to the 23rd of March.
Aruna added, "The Singapore Smash Event is as significant as the World Championships, and everyone is eager to participate. Players do not want to risk injuries due to the tight schedule and miss the Singapore events concurrently. We want to compete at the Singapore Smash Event first before heading to the African Games.
“It would be highly detrimental to our sports if no African player participates in this year’s Singapore Smash.”
The African champion disclosed that the African Games' schedule could lead to injuries for several African players who aspire to participate in this year’s Olympic Games in Paris.
He explained, “The African Games' schedule could cause injuries to several African players, and being an Olympic year, it is crucial for all athletes to avoid injuries.
“There is an option to play on other dates, but the excuse is that there will be four sports in just one venue. The African Games were postponed last year because facilities were not ready, and having four sports in just one venue still indicates that facilities are not fully prepared. It is entirely feasible to play from the 15th to the 23rd of March because the African Games start in early March.”