Connect with us

Table Tennis

Nigeria, Egypt Search For First Win At ITTF WTTC –

Published

on

Nigeria, Egypt Search For First Win At ITTF WTTC -

African table tennis heavyweights – Nigeria and Egypt are still searching for their first win at the ongoing ITTF World Table Tennis Championships (WTTC) taking place in Busan, South Korea.

 

Following the walkover of the Nigerian men’s team by Japan following the absence of Quadri Aruna and late arrival of Bode Abiodun, Nigeria on Saturday, February 17 suffered a 3-0 defeat against Chinese Taipei while Egypt were beaten 3-0 by Romania in their first group match.

 

Algerian teams (men and women) suffered another defeat against France while South African ladies were no match to their Brazilian counterparts in their second match of the group.

Advertisement

 

The Nigerian women’s team lost their second group match against Slovakia while they were expected to take on Germany on Sunday, February 18.

 

In their quest to record their first group, the Nigerian men’s team will take on their African counterpart – Madagascar in what promises to be brother-against-brother.

 

Advertisement

Egypt’s search for their first win will pit them against Portugal in their second group match while Algeria will rest in readiness for their tie against Denmark on Monday, February 19.

 

Olajide Omotayo described the absence of Aruna as a major set-back to the team while still nursing the ambition of advancing from the group.

 

“It was very bad that we lost gallantly against Chinese Taipei, but sports can be like this sometimes and my partner just arrived in Korea so he’s a bit tired.

Advertisement

 

“Also, our key player is not here, and we can’t win every time. We’ll fight for the next match. Chinese Taipei has very good and strong teams, and they have more experience and play really well. For the next match, we need to go to sleep because I haven’t slept since I got to Korea,” the 2019 African Games champion said.

 

 

Advertisement

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.

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Table Tennis

Players talk tough as Nigeria’s national table tennis tournament hits a crucial stage

Published

on

Augustine Emmanuel of Lagos

From the way things are panning out at the 4th Michael & Felicia Alabi Memorial National Table Tennis Championships, it is obvious that the players are not ready to concede defeats to themselves as top seed Amadi Umeh affirmed his intention to clinch another national title in Otan Ayegbaju, Osun State.

Also, Akinwale Fagbamila and Augustine Emmanuel are battle ready to stun Umeh, whose national team experience will come to the fore when the main draws (round of 16) kick off on Wednesday, April 24.

The annual tournament, which has been upgraded to a national ranking event by the national table tennis ruling body, the Nigeria Table Tennis Federation (NTTF), is organised by the Osun State Table Tennis Association (OSTTA) with support from the Michael & Felicia Alabi Memorial Foundation as well as Canada-based Jodal Health Care had players from 28 states across the country competing in 14 events.

Also, the finals of the deaf and para events will take centre stage as dignitaries across Osun are expected to grace the event as a build-up to the grand finale on Friday, April 26.

Umeh, who won one of the national tournaments in 2023 and was part of the national team for the 13th African Games, believes he would be unstoppable in the men’s singles. “I don’t see anyone stopping me here because I am familiar with most of them, and they are no match for me. But I will not underrate them, as I am here for business, which is to take home the grand prize. I must also commend the sponsors for raising the standard of the tournament this year because the organisation has been much better than the previous editions,” the Edo State star said.

Advertisement

But the duo of Fagbamila and Emmanuel are ready to rock the boat with Umeh when the main draws take off.

In the women’s singles, top seed Bisola Asaju will contend with Sukurat Aiyelabegan, who has a national title to her credit, and it promises to be exciting when both players try to fend off other contenders from clinching the title.

Continue Reading

Table Tennis

Assar hits 14th, Aruna remains static in 19th in latest ITTF Ranking

Published

on

Assar, Aruna, lead six other Africans to 2024 ITTF World Cups

For his second-round finish at the 2024 ITTF World Cups in Macao, Omar Assar has risen to 14th in the 2024 Week 17 of the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) due to be released on Tuesday, April 23.

The three-time African Games champion became the only African that progressed to the second round in the men’s singles after beating Iran’s Nosham Alamiyan and Sweden’s Truls Moregard to top Group 16.

The Egyptian has been in fine form since his 4-3 triumph over Nigeria’s Quadri Aruna at the 13th African Games in Ghana and his performance has rubbed positively on his ranking fortunes as he broke into the top 16 after Ghana’s win.

Following a remarkable performance in the group stage at the ITTF World Cup, Assar was set up against Japan’s Shunsuke Togami and in a hard-fought match, it was the Japanese that triumphed with as a 4-2 (11-7, 12-14, 11-8, 10-12, 11-5, 11-3) win to stop the unbeaten run of the 2023 African Cup champion.

From 16th spot in Week 17, Assar rose to 14th as the best rated African in the world and considered as his career best ranking. He will be heading to next month’s African Cup in Kigali, Rwanda, where he aims to defend his title against some of the finest players in the continent.

Advertisement

Meanwhile, Aruna who managed a 4-0 victory over Daniel Gonzalez of Puerto Rico and later lost 1-3 to Portugal’s Marcos Freitas to exit in the first round of the ITTF World Cups, remained static in 19th place in the world rating.

 Despite withdrawing from the ITTF World Cups, Egypt’s Dina Meshref maintained his status as the best ranked African in the world rated 24th while her compatriot – Hana Goda is second in the continent ranked 30th in the world.

Continue Reading

Table Tennis

Bigwigs await qualifiers in main draws of national table tennis championships

Published

on

Top seeds are still in their relaxed mood in anticipation of facing up against qualifiers in the singles events of the 4th Michael & Felicia Alabi Memorial National Table Tennis Championships taking place in Otan Ayegbaju in Osun State.

The Nigeria Table Tennis Federation (NTTF)-sanctioned ranking event is organised by the Osun State Table Tennis Association (OSTTA) with support from the Michael & Felicia Memorial Foundation and Cadana-based Jodal Health Care attracted record entries from 28 states across the country.

The likes of Amadi Umeh of Edo, Akinwale Fagbamila of Ondo and Augustine Emmanuel of Lagos as well as Rivers’ Bisola Asaju and Kwara’s Sukurat Aiyelabegan enjoyed rest day on Day One of the national ranking tournament as some of the unseeded players slug it out in their bid to join the tops seeds in the main draw of the competition.

From the format of the tournament, eight players have been seeded in men and women singles events while others will battle for the eight slots each available in the main draw of the men’s and women’s singles events.

For the first time, deaf players will battle in the men’s and women’s singles event while para-athletes will jostle for honours in four events being part of the inclusiveness initiative by the organisers.

Advertisement

On Day 2, April 23, U-15 boys and girls will begin their quest for glory from the knockout stage while the doubles events will take centre stage.

According to the competition manager, Segun Peters, this year’s tournament witnessed a huge improvement from the previous editions in terms of organisation and other logistics for participating teams and players.

Specifically, Peters lauded the sponsors for the hospitality as well as the conducive environment put in place for the players to showcase their talents.

According to NTTF, the tournament would be used to rank the players nationally for this year.

Advertisement
Continue Reading

Most Viewed