Nigeria’s Aruna Quadri will begin his third appearance at the annual International Table Tennis Federation, ITTF World Cup as the African champion will face Singapore’s Ning Gao and Sweden’s Par Gerell.
The 2016 edition of the Men’s World Cup kicks off today and will run till October 3 in Saarbrucken, Germany.
In the draw conducted on Friday, 12 players will battle for eight slots in the second round where they are expected to battle against the top eight seeded players.
Three players were grouped in each group with the top two in each group progressing to the second round of the competition.
Quadri who became the first African to play in the quarter-final of the Olympics at the just-ended Rio 2016 said that he would give his best as his opponents are tough nuts to crack.
“My opponents are not pushovers as they are champions in their own right. I respect them but I am not under any kind of pressure to prove myself as I am focused and ready to battle with anybody in Germany,” said Africa’s most rated player in history by ITTF.
Quadri’s debut at the tournament was in 2009 and he is expected to compete against top 19 players across the globe including world’s number two and three, China’s Xu Xin and Fan Zhendong as well as Germany’s Dimitrij Ovtcharov, who is the current European champion ranked sixth in the world.