Omar Assar is one of the world’s top-ranked Egyptian ping pong players, alongside his younger brother Khaled Assar. He has been a regular at the Olympics, having participated in three since 2012. Although he didn’t take home a medal in any of them, his most recent showing at the 2020 Olympics indicated he has only gotten better with age. He came in fifth in the men’s singles.
The highest ranking among his peers worldwide was 16th in January 2018. As of 2023, he’s ranked 27th in the world, where he’s sandwiched between Korean Lee Sangsu and French player Alexis Lebrun. Here’s everything you’d need to know about the Egyptian if you like his achievements or playing style.
Assar is an Egyptian native born in Desouk, one of the cities in his home country. It’s approximately 113 miles from the capital, Cairo. His uncle, Maher Assar, captained and coached the Egyptian table tennis team when he was younger and was the one who introduced Omar and his younger brother to the sport.
Assar started playing at the Desouk Clu when he was four and took off from there with his performances in major junior ITTF championships earning him several call-ups to playing camps in Europe. Eventually, he moved to Europe to start his playing career as a teen.
It was at 14 that he got an ITTF scholarship that would offer him training opportunities in Sweden. He would later move to and play in France and represent French teams like Roanne and Istres. His next move was to Germany, where he played in some of the top teams in the world, i.e., Werder Bremen and Borussia Dusseldorf.
Assar has represented Egypt at the Olympics three times, in 2012, 2016, and at the 2020 Tokyo event, where he had his best showing yet. He says part of the credit for the impressive performance goes to his wife for pushing him to work harder before the event. The 6 ft 4 in player is also a father.
While very little is known about the ping pong player’s personal life, he has admitted to being a husband and father while talking about the run-up to the 2020 Olympics.
The Egyptian talisman is relatively active on Instagram, and you can follow him @omarassar, where he has tens of thousands of followers.
Careerwise, Omar Assar broke into the world IITF rankings in 2005 but waited until 2007 to appear in senior competitions when he played his first world championship. Between then and 2010, he won two silvers at the World Junior Circuit Finals. One was at the 2008 event in Helsinborg, while the other came in 2009.
In 2010, Assar participated in the African Championships, and he came away with gold in the doubles and silver in the singles. He followed this up with a series of impressive achievements over the next few years. In 2011, for instance, he got two golds at the African games, one for the singles and one for the team event. He also took home a silver for doubles and a bronze for the mixed games.
2013, he got back to his best with the Egypt national team, where they ended up as bronze medalists in the Team World Cup hosted in Guangzhou, China. He didn’t get to take home a medal at the 2013 World Championships but was among the best 32, a feat which saw him rank among the top 100 globally for the first time in his career.
He joined French Club Roanne LNTT in 2014 and would go on to get gold at the Nigeria Open with an impressive run at the African Cup that saw him finish in third place.
The following year he took home many medals in singles, doubles, mixed, and team events, qualifying for the World Cup. However, he would get knocked out of the competition by Ma Long, who later went on to take the gold.
2016, he entered the Olympics a second time and again placed 33rd in the singles. In 2017 he was eliminated by Ma Long at the World Cup. At the end of 2018, he went missing from the sport but was back with his Borussia Dusseldorf team at the European Champions League the following year. The club made it to the semi-finals.
The club also reached the semi-finals the following year, although the competition was canceled due to the epidemic. His participation in the 2020 Olympics made him fifth in the men’s singles. He was also in the top ten at the men’s team and mixed doubles events.
Omar ranked 33rd at the 2012 London Olympics singles and ninth in the team event. At the 2016 Rio Olympics, he again placed 33rd in the singles. At the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, he placed fifth in the singles division, ninth with the men’s team, and ninth in the mixed doubles.
Assar competed at the 2017 World Table Tennis Championships but returned without a medal in the men’s singles, men’s doubles, and mixed doubles events.
Assar has seven gold medals, three silver, and one bronze from the African Championships. Of the seven gold, only one is from a singles event at the 2015 Cairo games. Three are from team events, two from mixed doubles, and one from men’s doubles.
As for the silvers, two are from singles events, with the other being from the doubles. The last medal is a doubles event bronze.
Omar Assar’s playing style is pretty versatile. He holds his equipment with a shakehand grip on his right hand and typically favors his backhand to return serves and tame attacks. He also likes to attack at the edges of the table on both sides to keep the opponent guessing and moving. Finally, he can switch to the forehand for extra power if necessary.
It’s definitely a playing style that you can learn with essential equipment. Even if you don’t have enough space indoors for a ping pong table, you can check out our best outdoor ping pong tables list for something that can withstand harsh weather.
If you’re looking for an indoor option that won’t take up much space, reviewers recommend the Joola Professional Indoor Table due to its easy assembly and the fact that it offers a single-player playback mode for solo practice.
Naturally, if you’re on the receiving end of a similar playstyle and you need to keep moving to keep up, our list of the best table tennis shoes should allow you to find shoes with the right grip.
Net Worth and Income
His net worth is estimated to be between $1 and $7 million, which he has made from sponsorships, prizes from winning games, and the clubs he plays for.
Omar Assar Equipment
Since he’s already in his thirties, Omar Assar may be looking at the twilight of his career. That said, he’s still got a few years left in him and might even get to go to the Olympics for the fourth time in a row. Only time will tell.