African Olympic Tokyo 2020 Qualification

Once again Tunis will be the setting for a tournament showcasing the best of African table tennis. From 27th – 29th February, 4 places in each of the men’s and women’s singles and 1 place for the mixed doubles will be up for grabs at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.


Segan Toriola competing in the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio – Image from ITTF Flickr

The singles qualification event will begin with 4 groups with the players placing 1st and 2nd advancing to the second stage. The second stage will be made up of 2 groups from which the 1st and 2nd will qualify. The mixed doubles will move straight into knockout rounds.

After already qualifying through victory at the 2019 African Games, Egypt will not join the singles events this time around. However, Omar Assar and Dina Meshref will contest the mixed doubles as number 1 seeds. Also in the mixed doubles draw is Nigeria’s Segun Toriola and Olufunke Oshanaike. The pairing will be hoping to make history and set records as Toriola attempts to qualify for his 8th Olympic Games whilst Oshanaike her 7th.

The men’s singles event is headed by world number 18 Quadri Aruna. More than 60 places lower in the World rankings is Ibrahima Diaw from Senegal, fellow Nigerian Olajide Omotayo, and Congolese player Saheed Idowu will be hoping to grab 1 of the 4 qualifying spots available. The top 4 Women’s seeds are 33-year-old Nigerian Offiong Edem, 33-year-old Cameroonian Sarah Hanffou, 44-year-old Nigerian Olufunke Oshanaike, and 24-year-old Algerian Katia Kessaci.

Who will join the Egyptian players as the African qualifiers for Tokyo 2020 and will we see an 8 and 7-time Olympic pairing Segun Toriola and Olufunke Oshanaike?