Egypt’s Omar Assar has equaled the Olympic record set by Nigerian, Aruna Quadri, after he became the second African player to reach the quarterfinal stage of the men’s singles table tennis event at Tokyo 2020 Games.
Nigeria’s Aruna became the first African to reach the quarterfinal after his quarterfinal finish at Rio 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil.
Assar matched the record as he continued on with his impressive run yesterday with a tightly contested 4-3 (11-8, 6-11, 11-8, 7-11, 11-9, 5-11, 11-7) win over Chinese Taipei’s veteran, Chih Yuan Chuang in the round of 16 tie of the men’s singles.
However, it was the end of the road for Aruna after the Nigerian fell 4-2 (15-13, 9-11, 6-11, 11-7, 7-11, 6-11) to Brazil’s Gustavo Tsuboi in the third round tie.
Starting his campaign from the second round, Assar defeated Ukraine’s Lei Kou 4-3 (15-13, 11-6, 11-4, 6-11, 8-11, 9-11, 11-4) to book his place in the fourth round.
In the fourth round, the Egyptian star defeated World vice-champion, Sweden’s Mattias Falck 4-3 (11-5, 6-11, 8-11, 13-11, 4-11, 11-6, 11-8) to berth in the last 16.
Like Aruna at Rio 2016, Assar will face his biggest task in Tokyo as he is expected to battle World and Olympic Champion China’s Ma Long in one of the quarterfinal matches of the men’s singles on Wednesday, July 28, 2021.
After his triumph in the round of 16, Assar described his win as an awesome feat, which he attributed to the support he got from his family in Germany and Egypt.
“Thank God I am very honoured really today for my performance and I am very proud also for the support I got from all my families who woke up for me early this morning in Germany my wife and in Egypt. I felt supported and proud to represent Egypt in the quarterfinal and this is very big for me,” he said.