Lagos World Tour: Egypt Star Vows To Defend ITTF Title

•Omar Assar of Egypt plays against Nigeria’s  Babatunde Mayowa during their first round match of the Lagos International Table Tennis Classics early today at Teslim Balogun Stadium, Surulere. PHOTO… Emmanuel Osodi

•Omar Assar of Egypt plays against Nigeria's Babatunde Mayowa during their first round match of the Lagos International Table Tennis Classics early today at Teslim Balogun Stadium, Surulere. PHOTO: Emmanuel Osodi

As the defending champions of the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) World Tour tagged Lagos Open, Egypt’s duo of Omar Assar and Nadeen El-Dawatly have expressed their willingness to retain the title next month.

With all the expected players already confirmed for the five-day championship, Assar, who recently won the ITTF Africa Senior Championship in Cairo said he would be willing to return to Lagos to defend the title.

Assar won the maiden edition of the competition in 2013 after beating Nigeria’s Segun Toriola and compatriot, El-Sayed Lashin in 2014. The world number 43 is hoping to tantalise Lagos fans with his entertaining style of play.

The Egyptian attained the highest rating in his career during the February ITTF ranking. He was also in superb from at the just concluded Kuwait Open, where he made the last 16 as the best player from Africa in the tournament.

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The ITTF Africa Senior Championships winner said: “I love Lagos fans because there was never any dull moment during my two trips to Nigeria and I am looking forward to defending my title because I cherish the title and the ever-supporting Lagos fans. I am looking forward to Lagos because the competition has become part of me and I am eager to come and enjoy myself. I know it is not going to be easy against the Nigerians because they have lot of quality players.”

El-Dawlatly, who finished in third place at the ITTF Africa Senior Championship, is hoping to return to Lagos where he defeated her compatriot, Dina Meshref to clinch her first World Tour title. Egypt Table Tennis Federation (ETTF) is coming to Lagos with over 10 players for the tournament.

Meanwhile organisers of the Lagos Open are perfecting preparation for the tournament while the deadline for players’ registration closed at the weekend.