Nigeria’s Kazeem Makanjuola will have his hands full after been drawn against Lagos Classics champion, Egypt’s Omar Assar, just as his compatriot, Aruna Quadri has been handed tough draw at the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) World Tour tagged: “Qatar Open”, which serves off on Tuesday February 18.
Makanjuola, who has promised to do well in Qatar, will face a Herculean task in Group Seven alongside Egypt’s Assar as well as Singapore’s Zhaoxu Xin.
Also, Quadri will not find it easy in Group 10 where he will tackle Portugal’s Joao Monteiro and Chinese Taipei’s Wang-Wei Peng for a place in the main draw.
Quadri and Makanjuola arrived on Monday in Doha for the second super series in the ITTF World Tour with Makanjuola playing his group matches on Tuesday.
The Lagos Classics bronze medalist will square up against Singapore’s Xin on table seven for his first group match while his next match will be against the current African champion, Egypt’s Assar on table five.
Quadri, who managed to win a match during the Kuwait Open, will confront Chinese Taipei’s Peng on table 10 in his first group match while his next encounter against Portugal’s Monteiro holds on Wednesday February 19 on table 10 as well.
However, a confident Quadri said his target was to progress to the main Just like the Kuwait Open, some of the world’s best will converge on Doha to participate in the highest prize money of the World Tours’ history.
The total prize money is $500,000, followed by the ITTF China Open, which has $350,00 staked as prize money.
Players that make it to the main draw will get prize money for their efforts in the Men’s Singles and Women’s Singles events.
First round losers will each receive $1,500, while winners of the Men’s and Women’s Singles events will receive $35,000 each with runners’ up getting $17,000 respectively.
In each of the Men’s Doubles and Women’s Doubles events, the winning pair gets $9,500, the runners up win $4,700; while in the U-21 Men’s Singles and Women’s Singles events, winners will get $3,000 each. The runners’ up here will smile home with $1,500.
200 players from 35 countries are expected to compete at the Qatar Open.