Table Tennis: Egypt's Omar Assar reaches World Championship quarters for the first time in country's history

Ahram Online , Thursday 25 May 2023

Egyptian table tennis player Omar Assar has made history by becoming the first Egyptian player to reach the quarterfinals of the World Championship.

Egypt s Omar Assar (R) competes against Taiwan s Chuang Chih-yuan during his men s singles round of 16 table tennis match at the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo on July 27, 2021 (AFP)


Assar achieved this feat after defeating Tomislav Pucar of Croatia 4-0 (11-6, 11-9, 12-10, and 11-8) in the round of 16 of the ongoing World Championship in Durban, South Africa.

Ranked 30th in the world, Assar faces a tough challenge in the quarterfinals against world number one Fan Zhendong of China on Friday.

Zhendong, who won the World Championship in 2021 and clinched a silver medal in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, is expected to provide a formidable challenge to Assar.

Assar began his World Championship campaign with a hard-fought 4-3 win over Alberto Mino of Ecuador, followed by a 4-2 victory over Kirill Gerassimenko of Kazakhstan in the round of 64.

He then stunned world number 10 Truls Moregard of Sweden 4-2 in the round of 32 on Wednesday.

Assar has also made history in the 2020 Olympic Games by becoming the first Egyptian table tennis player to reach the quarterfinals in the event.

He finished fifth in the men's singles event in Tokyo 2020 after losing 4-1 to the 2016 Olympic gold medalist and 2019 World Champion Ma Long of China in the quarterfinals.

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