Nigeria’s top youth players will join the continent’s future stars from East, West, South and North in action from this Wednesday, April 6 till April 12 at the 2016 ITTF African Junior Championships in Algiers, Algeria.
The battle for supremacy among young players will come to fore when the tournament serves off with 15 events to be competed for at the seven-day tournament.
Apart from the jostle for the best teams, the tournament would also afford teams to compete for the three slots allocated to the continent at the 2016 ITTF World Junior Championship holding later in the year in Pretoria, South Africa.
Egypt’s Youssef Abdel-Aziz and Nigeria’s Amadi Omeh will be the players to watch out for. Algeria’s Sannah Lagsir who singled-handedly halted the dominance of Egypt at the 2015 edition in Mauritius is another star capable of surprising the favourites.
According to the President of the Africa Table Tennis Federation (ATTF), Khaled El-Salhy, between 12 to 15 countries are expected at the championship with the inclusion of events like the Youth U-21 events for boys and girls.
“We are expecting over 15 countries and from the way things are going on, everything is well prepared by Algeria Table Tennis Federation and I am completely satisfied with their final preparations. The unique thing about this tournament is that we are adding the events for Youth U-21 this year, and we will check if it suites to continue in the coming events together with U-18 and U-15 or to get such category into the African Cup and Clubs Championships,” the ATTF boss said.
The ATTF helmsman admitted that the presence of team from Nigeria would add vigour and glamour to the championship.
“In 2015, Nigeria was absent from the tournament in Mauritius and their presence in Algiers will surely make the tournament more competitive particularly against teams from the Northern parts of the continent.
“It will also help ATTF to select the best teams that will qualify for the World Juniors and select African teams for this year’s World Cadet Challenge. I know that the fight for the teams that will qualify for the World Junior Championships will be among four Associations – Algeria, Egypt, Nigeria and Tunisia in the boys and girls categories,” he concluded.