Quadri, Assar, others set to improve ranking at Hong Kong Open
As Egypt’s Lashin quits national team
Aruna Quadri, Egypt’s Omar Assar and other top ranked players will tomorrow begin battles for honours and to improve their rankings at the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) World Tour tagged: Hong Kong Open Queen Elizabeth Stadium in Hong Kong.
Quadri, who is ranked 13 in the 16-man list for the $145,000 prize money, will feature in the main draw, alongside Assar seeded sixth and homeboy, Ting Chun Wong, ranked number one in the championship, which began with the qualifiers yesterday.
Others seeded in the men’s singles event include Lee Sangsu seeded number two, Japan’s Kenta Matsudaira, Portugal’s Marcos Freitas and Chinese Taipei’s Chuang Chih-Yuan, Denmark’s Jonathan Groth and Germany’s Ruwen Filus.
Optimistic that he would finish well at the end of the championship, Quadri said: “I will try my best to do well and I hope my best will see me through because this is the assembly of crème-de-la-crème in world table tennis,” he said.
Also, Olympic Games gold medallist, World champion and winner of the Men’s World Cup, alongside colleague Ma Long are the only player to hold all three prestigious titles at the same time but for China’s Zhang Jike, in order to reserve a place in the Hong Kong Open, he must succeed compete in qualification tournament.
Meanwhile, Egypt’s legend, El-Sayed Lashin, has quit the national team, relinquishing the stage for the younger athletes.
The former Africa’s champion, who holds a Bachelor’s degree in Logistics from the Arab Academy for Science and Technology and Maritime Transport, ended a career that spans more than 20 years with the national team.
Having made his international debut in 1996, the 38-year-old Lashin represented Egypt at several international championships that include the All African Games and Olympic Games.
“I believe this is the best time to retire, but I will continue playing as a player for clubs as much as I can, but for international career it is better to give a chance to my brothers in the national team,” he said.
Lashin described his active years with the team as rewarding. “It was a big honour to be part of Egyptian national team and at this period that this set of Egypt table tennis generation now leads Africa and maintain a good place in the map of world table tennis,” El-Sayed Lashin said.
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