Preview: Assar faces world champion in table tennis, swimmer Osman has chance for redemption at Tokyo Olympics

Ahram Online , Tuesday 27 Jul 2021

Assar made history on Tuesday after becoming the first Arab and second African to reach the quarter-final of the men's singles table tennis event

Omar Assar
Egypt s Omar Assar (R) competes against Taiwan s Chuang Chih-yuan during his men s singles round of 16 table tennis match at the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo on July 27, 2021 (AFP)

Having equaled an African record, Omar Assar is up against world and Olympic champion Ma Long in a mouthwatering game in the quarter-final of the men's singles table tennis event at the Tokyo Olympic Games on Wednesday.

Chinese Ma Long, gold medalist at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games and a world champion three years later, is an overwhelming favourite to advance at the expense of Assar, who will still be proud to reach that stage.

Assar made history on Tuesday after becoming the first Arab to qualify for the quarters, having overcome 2019 World Championship finalist and world no.9 Mattias Falck of Sweden before beating Yuan Chih Chuang of Chinese Taipei in the round of 16.

He also became the second African to reach the last eight after Nigerian Quadri Aruna, who achieved the feat in 2016.

Swimmer Farida Osman will have a chance for redemption when she takes part in the women's 100m freestyle event.

Osman narrowly failed to reach the semis of the women's 100m butterfly event on Saturday but can make amends on Wednesday.

The men's handball team meet Japan in their third Group B match, having beaten Portugal before losing to reigning world champions Denmark.

Egypt are third in their group with two points, two behind Denmark and Sweden. The top four in the six-team group will reach the quarterfinals.

The U23 football side face Australia in a make-or-break clash as they must win to stand a chance of booking a last-eight berth. Egypt are at the bottom of Group C with one point, two behind Argentina and Australia and three adrift of leaders Spain in a tight race for two quarter-final tickets.

Should they beat Australia and Argentina fail to overcome Spain, Egypt will reach the knockout stage. If Argentina defeat Spain, Egypt will need to better Spain's goal difference to go through.

Archer Amal Adam faces Korean Jang Minhee in round of 64 of the women's individual contest while the men's fencing team meet Japan in the sabre round of 16.

In boxing, Abdel-Rahman Orabi takes on Benjamin Whittaker of Great Britain in round of 16 of the men's 81kg event.

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