Sudan is a name given to a geographical region to the south of the Sahara, stretching from Western to eastern Central Africa. The name derives from the Arabic bilād as-sūdān, or “the lands of the Blacks”, an expression denoting West Africa and northern-Central Africa.
Sudan was home to numerous ancient civilizations and from February 14 to 18, the country will host the best players in Africa for the ITTF Africa Top 16 and Olympic Qualifying Tournament.
This is the first time the Sudan is hosting a major continental tournament and the President of the African Table Tennis Federation (ATTF), Khaled El-Salhy believes they (Sudan) are ready to break new ground.
Sudan seems completely ready for the top ITTF/ATTF events to take place in Khartoum from 14 to 18. I arranged for an emergency inspection visit through Mr. Mohamed Gharib of Egypt, who conducted an ITTF Hopes Week in Ethiopia and he instructed him to confirm the readiness of Khartoum for the tournament and his reports are very positive one that all preparations are working very well,” the ATTF boss said.
The venue is perfect and there is also a suitable practice hall and other facilities for administration and media as well. Professional photographer will be available and also high speed internet. The national television station promised to assist in live coverage from day one and for the most important full days during the finals of the ITTF Africa Top 16 Cup and Olympic Qualifiers on February 15 and 18. There is also a perfect hotel which will be used for all accredited people within the event (i.e. VIP, ITTF, ATTF & all participating teams),” he added.
He however expressed satisfaction while hoping for successful tournament. “I am so satisfied with the quality of organisation for the event and I believe it will be quite high enough especially after knowing that the Sudan Vice President and the Minister of Sports have guaranteed ITTF and ATTF that all facilities will be available more than expected,” he said.
El-Salhy believes the tournament would provide the players the opportunity to tune up for the World Team Championship in Malaysia. “It is clear that all top players in Africa are well prepared for the ITTF Africa Top 16 Cup trying to qualify for 2016 ITTF World Cups, followed by the final Olympics Qualification to select the remaining two slots in men and two in women to fulfill the African Quota for Rio Olympic Games. And don’t forget that most of those top players are putting in mind also the Perfect 2016 WTTC in Malaysia due to its importance for ITTF ranking that will affect the qualification for team event for Rio.”
Already 13 players have been confirmed for the ITTF Africa Top 16 Cup while some have been placed in standby to complete the list of 16, while for the Olympic Qualifiers, El-Sayed said: “The door is still open till end of January when we will announce the participation list.”