Africa’s number one female Table Tennis Player, Egyptian Dina Meshref has confessed that Nigerian Table Tennis Players are extremely tough to beat.
Meshref made this revelation during a live chat video on the BCOS TV Sports Programme Fans’ Forum anchored by Boluwaji Ogunmola and produced by Mary Akinsola.
In response to a question on who her toughest Nigerian player was, the Egyptian who had earlier disclosed that Nigerians were her toughest opponents, revealed that the current Africa’s number two, Edem Offiong is one of the toughest opponents she’s face.
“I cannot just say one, because I
have faced many tough Nigerian players in my career, but Edem Offiong is one of the toughest. I played against her in the final, it was a very tough game, it’s always not easy for us (Egyptians) to play against the Nigerian players” she disclosed.
Edem Offiong lost to Dina Meshref in the final of the 2020 ITTF Africa Cup in February in Tunisia.
The 26-year-old Egyptian advised Nigerian players to participate in more international competitions, to improve their skills in the game.
The North African country are undoubtedly the biggest Table Tennis playing nation in Africa. The reason for their achievements, according to Meshref, is down to the players’ active participations in several international tournaments.
“We (Egyptians) participate in a lot of international events, I think that is the difference, I think it will be very useful for Nigeria Table Tennis to compete in more international tournaments.
Meshref recognised the China as the World’s Table Tennis Power House and also made it known that she, alongside some Egyptian players, often go to China to learn more about the game.
“Talking about the Chinese, they are fully dedicated to Table Tennis, they have a high number of players playing the game, so they can pick from the best. I have been to China to see how they train, they really work hard. African players need to learn from them.”
The Egyptian table tennis star explained that her mother never wanted her to play table tennis even though she (Dina’s mother) played the game in her youth.
“My mother did not want me to play table tennis, she just told me to do whatever I wanted to do. So I started playing lawn tennis at the age of 6 at Al Ahly club, I did that for a whole year and everything was working fine for me. But later I switched to table tennis”.
Born to two table tennis champions, Meshref was naturally drawn to the sport. Little Dina used to accompany her father to the table tennis hall at El Ahly Club when he served as head of the table tennis team.
And prompted by her father’s colleagues to play table tennis, she eventually developed passion for it and began playing at a young age.
Aside being a table tennis star, Dina Meshref is also good at tennis and swimming.