Unlike his continental counterpart Egypt’s Omar Assar who plummeted in the May ITTF ranking, Nigeria’s Aruna Quadri maintains his status as the continent’s best as well as 23rd rated player in the world.

Being one of the elite tournaments in the ITTF World Tour, this year’s China Open will witness the assemblage of top stars across the globe including the top 50 ranked players in the world among them is Africa’s number one, Nigeria’s Aruna Quadri.

Already, the organisers have seeded the top 16 ranked players in the world to the main draw, while the likes of Quadri will have to start their campaigns from the preliminary alongside others as the preliminary round begins today May 28 at the Shenzhen Bao’an District Sports Center Gymnasium.

The $400,000 prize money championship will afford the players to garner ranking points in their bid to secure places at Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in Japan.

Quadri who has been competing in an invitational tournament in China, will be aiming to garner points from China Open with the aim of maintaining his status as top 30 in the world which will help to qualify him automatically for the Olympic Games.

Aside from the Olympic Games, Quadri is also aiming to compete at the 2019 ITTF World Cup holding later in the year in Chengdu, China. Also, Egypt’s Omar Assar will be leading the Egyptian contingent to China Open. His sibling – Khaled will also be competing alongside Turkish-based Mohamed El-Beiali and Ahmed Saleh.

Senegal’s Ibrahima Diaw will also be using the tournament to tune up for the 2019 African Games in Morocco.

A total of 32 China Open tournaments have been staged since 1996, the year in which the ITTF World Tour was inaugurated.

In that period of time, on no less than 29 occasions the men’s singles title has been won by a player from China; furthermore, a total of 28 times, the final has been an all Chinese affair. Some records may show that in 1996 in X’ian, Bulgaria’s Feng Zhe was the runner up beaten by Kong Linghui in the final; the fact he was the silver medallist is correct but at the time he was a member of the Chinese national team.

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