Ghana's Table Tennis stalwarts - Derek Abrefa and Emmanuel Commey have arrived safely in Tunisian to participate in the African qualification series for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics in Japan in July.
Six-time SWAG winner Abrefa has been paired with current African Games gold medalist Olajide Omotayo of Nigeria and Ahmed Djamal of Djibouti in Group 2, while Commey finds himself in Group 4 alongside Saheed Idowu of Congo Brazzaville and Brian Mutua of Kenya.
The tremendous support of the Ghana Olympic Committee (GOC) led by its president Ben Nunoo Mensah ensured that flight tickets and the necessary support towards this very important qualifier were released on time.
Kind courtesy of Stanbic Bank Money Wallet, Derek Abrefa had an intensive two-month training camp in the USA at the Samson Dubina Academy in Ohio and Westchester Club in New York, sharpening his arsenal in preparation to qualify for the Olympics.
"I've had a fantastic training camp in the USA and I must say I am prepared to deliver and lift the flag of Ghana high. As leader of Team Ghana to the African Games last year, I helped the table tennis team to qualify for the World Table Tennis Championships in Busan, South Korea. This time, I am going to put in my best and ensure that Ghana is represented in the Olympics," Abrefa assured.
But the task is not going to be an easy one for team Ghana as all nations are bringing their crème de la crème to this qualifier.
"I know Olajide of Nigeria has really improved his game and caused an upset to win the African Games gold medal. He also helped team Nigeria to win silver medal in Commonwealth Games too, but I have really prepared for this competition over the two months courtesy of this sponsorship secured for me by my president, Mawuko Afadzinu. I will surely perform to the best of my ability," Abrefa added.
Commey has also had good training session towards this qualifier. He won gold at the recently held Chairman's Cup at the Fantasy Dome, and has been under intensive training, ranging from ball placement, footwork and tactical training. He is positive of making an impact in the tournament.
President of Ghana Table Tennis Association, Mawuko Afadzinu, is optimistic his charges will deliver.
"Abrefa and Commey are very well prepared for the Olympic qualifiers. By the kind courtesy of Stanbic Bank Money Wallet and the GOC, we have provided the necessary financial support and logistics to ensure that they deliver when it matters. I must commend Mr. Nunoo Mensah for his swift response when we called on him and I must say our players are motivated well enough to qualify," Mr. Afadzinu said.
The qualifiers started on Thursday and will end tomorrow.