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PARALYMPICS

Nigeria sweep stakes at African Para Championships

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Nigeria emerged the overall champion of the 2023 ITTF African Para Championships which ended on Saturday September 23, 2023 in Giza, Egypt.

The three-day tournament had hosts – Egypt – Algeria, Nigeria, Mauritius, Cameroon, South Africa, Kenya and Cote d’Ivoire competing in the singles, doubles and mixed doubles events.

Nigeria carted home 12 gold medals to dethrone Egypt as the new para table tennis champion in Africa. The Nigerians asserted themselves as the new heavyweights in the continent’s para table tennis by dominating the singles event to pick up most of the tickets to the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games.

From the 14 tickets available for the Paralympic Games, Nigeria picked nine while Egypt settled for five in the singles events. However, the host team dominated the doubles and mixed doubles events with five gold medals while Nigeria picked two.

In the overall medals table, Nigeria picked 12 gold while Egypt won 10 to surrender their dominance to the West African nation.

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President, African Table Tennis Federation (ATTF), Khaled El-Salhy commended all the participating teams and described the tournament as a success, especially with the facilities and hospitality provided by the Egyptian Table Tennis Federation (ETTF).

 

“I am so happy that we have an improvement in the participation this year, especially with the number of countries that featured in this year’s tournament. The players gave a good account of themselves; they showed their quality judging from the matches.

“I congratulate the ETTF and the government of Egypt for being good hosts and I hope our players will make the continent proud when the Paralympic Games takes place next year in France.

“I must also thank the ITTF for their support and I hope other African countries will focus on para sports so that we can all be in tune with the ideals of the ITTF,” El-Salhy said.

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Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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