Nigeria and Egypt should be ready for serious challenge from Congo at the ITTF African Senior Championships which serves off Monday in Morocco.
The central Africans have stated their readiness to stop the dominance of both countries at the one-week competition, which has over 200 players in attendance.
Nigeria finished second in last year’s edition, with the hosts Egypt finishing top.
The Congolese will be relying on their Nigerian and Chinese imports. Players from those countries won them gold at the African Games in 2015.
A former Nigerian player Saka Suraju, who will be representing Congo in Morocco told ITTF’s website that he does not see Africa’s best tennis player Aruna Quadri stopping them.
“That our Chinese players will not be playing in Morocco is not a big deal for us because we have been training for past weeks for this championship and I don’t see Nigeria stopping us despite their star player – Aruna Quadri.
“In Africa, we know how to play ourselves and I have beaten Aruna Quadri in major competitions. Beating him in Morocco will not be an issue for me. I know Nigeria as a nation is blessed with quality players but we are also ready for Nigeria and Egypt. It is a 50-50 situation because nobody is sure until the final day.”
He added, “We also want to represent Africa at the World Team Cup, so we are going to be title contenders in the men’s team event. The title is not for Nigeria or Egypt alone and we will ensure that with my teammates – Saheed Idowu and Abiodun Lawal, we will put everything into the tournament to pick the sole slot.”