The African Table Tennis Championships will take place in 2021 ©Getty Images

The International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) Africa Senior Championships have been postponed until 2021.

The competition serves as the continental qualification event for the ITTF World Championships.

African Table Tennis Federation (ATTF) President Khaled El-Salhy said the postponement had been necessary due to the coronavirus pandemic.

"I wish to inform all table tennis friends and colleagues in your country, the importance of a safe and healthy lifestyle in the current circumstances due to the COVID-19 pandemic," El-Salhy said.

"The ATTF Executive Committee had an online meeting to discuss the case for the ATTF calendar of 2020 which had been suspended earlier until further notice.

"We are closely monitoring the global and continental situation day-by-day to come back to you with the following decision.

"We acknowledge the continuation and expansion of the pandemic in the whole world and consequently in Africa, as there is no guaranteed medicine or vaccine available."

Aruna Quadri is the reigning men's singles champion ©Getty Images
Aruna Quadri is the reigning men's singles champion ©Getty Images

El-Salhy added that with normal international travel not considered possible until the end of 2020, it has been forced to move events.

The African Senior Championships was scheduled to take place between October 1 and 7 in Yaounde in Cameroon.

The Africa Youth, Junior and Cadet Championships, which were due to be held in Madagascar in April, will also be rescheduled.

El-Salhy expressed hope that new dates for the events will be announced soon, after checking they do not clash with other sanctioned international tournaments.

Nigeria and Egypt are the defending champions in the team events at the African Senior Championships.

Nigeria's Aruna Quadri and Egypt's Dina Meshref are the reigning singles champions, after triumphing in 2018.