Aside the 3-1 defeat Assar suffered against Toriola in the final men’s team event, the 2015 Lagos Open champion is pained that they could not retain their title in the men’s team event which they lost to Nigeria.

The only defeat suffered by Egypt’s Omar Assar at the last African Games was against veteran Segun Toriola but the young Egyptian told Sportinglife that most of them look up to the former African champion for inspiration.

“For some of us in Africa, Toriola has been an inspiration because he gets better with each tournament and he never seems ready to quit the stage for young players. I never believe he could play the way he played against me because I was surprised he could dominate the match.

“But for me he has remained committed to the game and he never hid his passion for the sport. I hope we can still have him around for some time so that we can also draw from his wealth of experience,” he said.

Assar, who is at present warming up for the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) World Cup holding in Sweden, believes winning the singles title in Brazzaville would motivate him well for the global tournament.

“I am really happy that I won because there has been a lot of pressure on us to win medals. I had to wait till the last day to win gold medals because the pressure was really much on me. Aruna played well but I was really determined to win and I think I deserve the victory. But I am still disappointed that we lost the men’s team title having led 2-1 only to lose to Segun Toriola, who played very well.

[pull_quote_center]“It was indeed painful losing the men’s title but in all I am happy that I have been able to defend my title in this competition. Also, I am eager to play at the World Cup particularly that the tournament is holding where I reside in Sweden,”[/pull_quote_center] Assar added.

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