African stars Nigeria’s Aruna Quadri and Egypt’s Omar Assar failed to reach the quarter-finals of the 2017 International Table Tennis Federation World Cup in Belgium after they crashed out of the event on Saturday.
Having worked their way into the main draw (round of 16) of the prestigious tournament, Quadri’s dream of repeating his 2014 quarter-final feat was extinguished by Japan’s Jun Mizutani while Assar met his waterloo against World and Olympic champion, China’s Ma Long.
Despite tantalising the Belgian fans at the Country Hall of Liege, Quadri could not withstand the Japanese Olympic bronze medallist, who beat the Nigerian 4-0.
Assar put up a fight against the number one player Ma Long but the experience of the Chinese was too much for the Egyptian. Long, who was playing his first game in the competition, cruised past the African star with a 4-1 win.
Also, Russian Alexander Shibaev continued his fine form in the competition after a shock g 4-2 win over Chuang Chih-Yuan in the last 16 to advance to the last eight.
The semi-final and final matches will be played today to decide the new winner of the competition after China’s Fan Zhedong could not make it to Belgium to defend his title.
Shibaev said, “I just continue to play without thinking of anything. Also I want to enjoy myself and take one step at a time. This is another step and I hope to continue with each step.”