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African teams go down on opening day of 2024 ITTF WTTC

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It was not a good start for African teams in the opening matches of the 2024 Busan ITTF World Championships as Algeria, South Africa and Madagascar tasted defeats in the men and women events of the first World Championships taking place in South Korea.
Algerian ladies’ trio of Amina Kessaci, Lynda Loghraibi and Malissa Nasri were no match to their Chilean counterparts while South African who came as replacements for Tunisia were also beaten by Iran 3-0 in their opening match.
The Algerian men’s team led by experienced Mehdi Bouloussa also fell 3-0 to Austria. The youthful team of Madagascar could not withstand the experience of the Czech Republic as the team fell 1-2 to the European side in their opening group match.
Following the withdrawal of Quadri Aruna coupled with the late arrival of Bode Abiodun, Nigeria were walked over by Japan in their opening match of the competition.
This development also put Nigeria in a tight corner as only two players will be available for the competition.
On Saturday February 17, Egypt will start their campaign against Romania while their female team will take on the Czech Republic.
Rueing the absence of Aruna, Segun Toriola described it as a big setback to the team but expressed optimism that the team can still make it from the group. “I am aware that the Japanese are afraid of Aruna and their coaching crew have been worried about their formation of their team but when the news filtered that Aruna would not be coming, they were a bit relieved that they have a bye to the next game. But we can give up even though it is a big blow to the team here in Korea and we will not give up hoping that we can progress from the group,” the former African champion said.
Women’s defending champion China narrowly escaped defeat against India on Friday, February as they had to come back from 2-1 down to beat the Indian team led by Manika Batra 3-2 to kick-start their title defence in Korea.

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