Nigeria’s Aruna Quadri and Egypt’s Dina Meshref have been listed as top seeds in the men and women events for the 2020 ITTF Africa Top 16 Cup in Tunisia.
The three-day $25,000 tournament serves as the continental qualifiers for the 2020 ITTF World Cup in Germany and China and will hold between 24-26 February.
The 32 participants (16 men and 16 women) are drawn from regional champions and top-ranked players with the obvious absence of Nigeria’s veterans – Segun Toriola and Olufunke Oshonaike.
The Nigerian duo will be missing out from the competition for the first time in the last decade having won the tournament in the past to represent Africa at the World Cups.
In the men’s seeding list, Nigeria’s Aruna Quadri who recently joined a German Club in the Bundesliga will lead the array of stars to Tunis, while defending champion, Dina Meshref leads the women’s contingent to the tournament.
Men’s defending champion – Omar Assar of Egypt is seeded number four behind Ahmed Saleh of Egypt and Olajide Omotayo of Nigeria.
From the seeding, Quadri and Assar will likely clash in the semifinal just like what panned out at the 2019 ITTF Africa Cup in Lagos with the Egyptian claiming a 4-2 win to eventually win the tournament.
According to the format of play, both events (men and women) shall play in a group stage round-robin system with four groups of four players in each category, while all matches will be best of five games in the first stage.
In the second stage of the tournament, winners and runners-up of all groups will be drawn to play the knockout for all positions till the winners emerge.
The allotment of the players in groups will take place according to the latest African seeding list with the top four seeded players being drawn as headers of each group. The other seeded players will be drawn accordingly using the modified snake system in the groups two by two – The players not ranked, will be allotted by draw.
Also, players from the same country will not be drawn in the same group of the competition.
Winners in the men and women events will represent the continent at the ITTF World Cups later in the year.