Table tennis: Africa's best to battle it out in Kigali. BK ARENA

East Africa's largest indoor arena, the BK Arena in Kigali, Rwanda, will host two of Africa's elite table tennis tournaments - the African Cup and the Olympic Qualifying Tournament - from 12-18 May.

The stage is set for the continent's best table tennis players to compete for glory and a ticket to the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris, France. For the first time in the history of the 10,000-seat arena, a table tennis tournament will be held indoors. The development has delighted the President of the African Table Tennis Federation (ATTF), Khaled El-Salhy, who expressed his confidence in the ability of the Rwanda Table Tennis Association (RTTA) to stage a world-class event. 

"The country had a very successful bid presentation at the ITTF Africa AGM in Tunisia to host the 2024 ITTF Africa Cup as well as the African Olympic Qualifying Tournament for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games," he said. 

"The delegates at the AGM voted overwhelmingly for Rwanda to be the new host in Africa with a great ambition to promote table tennis in the eastern part of Africa and to meet all the requirements set by the ITTF and ATTF for a professional organisation," El-Salhy added.

The impressive BK Arena in Kigali, Rwanda. BK ARENA
The impressive BK Arena in Kigali, Rwanda. BK ARENA

Having hosted regional tournaments in the past, El-Salhy believes the RTTA has the wherewithal and capacity to host the continent. As such, the ATTF helmsman has predicted that the events will be exciting and explosive, especially when it comes to the Olympic qualifying tournament. 

"I think it will be two fantastic events, with all our top players competing at the Africa Cup of Nations, followed by the big battle to qualify for the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris. All the players are working hard to qualify for the Olympics Games and we are looking forward to having the best possible representatives for Africa in Paris to ensure that we have better performances and results than in Tokyo 2020," concluded the ATTF President

He also revealed that the ATTF has been monitoring the preparations in Kigali to provide the necessary support to the RTTA in organising these two important tournaments.