Lagos To Host 2022 ITTF Club Championships, African Cup From May 19

A table tennis court in Lagos.

 

Nigeria’s commercial city, Lagos has been chosen by the African Table Tennis Federation (ATTF) to host the World Championships regional qualification tournament, the African Club Championships and African Cup.

The three tournaments will begin from May 19 to 28 at the Molade Okoya-Thomas Hall, Teslim Balogun Stadium Surulere.

The World Championships regional qualification for West Africa teams will kick-start the tournament on May 19 to 21 while the African Club Championships follow on May 23 to 25. The African Cup which is a singles tournament will climax the event on May 26 to 28.

ATTF President, Khaled El-Salhy confirmed the choice of Lagos was based on the remarkable organization of previous tournaments coupled with the positive comments from players, coaches, and participating teams.

“Lagos has the best bid to host the African Cup in 2022 together with the African Clubs, as ATTF is always satisfied with the remarkable organisation in Lagos coupled with full capacity of spectators in the venue throughout any major competition,” he said.

The ATTF boss said the African Cup would now be a continental qualification for WTT Cup Finals. “The new thing is that the ITTF World Cup may not be held this year and the other option will be the WTT Cup Finals which will include the same policy that continental cup winners will represent each continent.”

Top African players are expected in Lagos for the African Cup where Egypt’s Ahmed Saleh and Dina Meshref are expected to defend their titles against the best players in Africa at the three-day tournament at the Molade Okoya-Thomas Hall of Teslim Balogun Stadium.

“All top players will be competing for the Cup, while they will be aiming for ranking points as well as qualification to represent Africa at WTT Cup Finals taking place later in the year,” he added.

For the African Cup, each participating country will nominate two players each in men’s and women’s events while the host country will nominate four players each for the cup.

Meanwhile, a nine-man Main Organising Committee (MOC) has been approved by the continental ruling body with Wahid Oshodi chairing the committee. President of Cote D’ivoire Table Tennis Federation, Prof. Alfred Germain Karou will deputise Oshodi in the MOC.

Other members include the Executive Chairman of Lagos State Sports Commission (LSSC) Sola Aiyepeku, Dr. Adesoji Tayo, Kweku Tandoh and Tunisia’s Mokhtar Toukabri.

Nigeria’s Male Team Misses Out On Promotion, Female Team Survives Relegation

Aruna-QuadriNigeria’s hope of gaining promotion to the championship division at the 2014 World Team Table Tennis Championship has been dashed after losing narrowly to England in the quarter-final stage to settle for the seventh place in division two.

With the victory, England makes a return to the Championship division for the first time in seventeen years.

In previous meetings, England dominated Nigeria but with the fine performance of Segun Toriola, Kazeem Makanjuola, Aruna Quadri and Ojo Onaolapo in Tokyo, Nigeria is taking back its place in world table tennis.

After finishing second to Czech Republic in group E, team Nigeria defeated Turkey in the knockout stage and started the match against England on a good note when Quadri, who finished 16 at the 2014 Spanish Open beat the Paul Drinkhall 12-10, 6-11, 11-9, 11-6 to give Nigeria the lead.

The win serves as good experience for Quari, as beating Drinkhall, who won the Spanish Open few weeks ago in the city of Almeria in Spain, will surely motivate him to impress whenever he challenges quality opponents.

Team captain, Toriola, increased the lead when he fought well to beat Liam Pitchford 10-12, 12-10, 8-11, 11-6, 11-6. At this stage of the match, Nigeria were favourites to qualify for the semi-finals.

But the turning point for the English team was when Onaolapo was beaten 11-5, 11-7, 11-6 by Daniel Reed. This put the overall result at 2-1 with Nigeria leading.

The win against Onaolapo brought out the best in the British players who improved to win their next two matches against Quadri and Toriola.

In the fourth game, Pitchford avenged Drinkhall loss to Quadri when he overwhelmed Quadri 5-11, 11-6, 5-11, 6-11, while Drinkhall rounded up the game with 6-11, 11-9, 5-11, 9-11 win over Toriola to put the overall result at 3-2.

England captain, Drinkhall admitted that the encounter against the Nigerians remained the most difficult game for them in the tournament.

“We’re really happy to have come through, we had a difficult start to the match with me losing the first match. I think if I would have won that, we might have won 3-0; this was the first real test for our team and I am happy we made it through. I think we can take this match as positive,” Drinkhall confirmed.

Japan’s Ishikawa Juan was full of praise for the Nigerian team.

“I never expected much from the Nigerians but since the start of the tournament, they have proved to be a good team especially with what they played against England. I think they are a good side and they just need to continue in the fine form to get back to the elite division. I wish them well,” Ishikawa said.

Meanwhile, the Nigerian female team put up a good show in the classification match to avoid relegation with wins over Peru, Turkey and Israel. The wins ensured that the team remained in division two for the next edition of the competition taking place in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in 2016.

The performance of Nigeria will surely improve their world ratings when the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) world ranking is released after the championship.

Team Nigeria Ready for ITTF African Junior Championship in Egypt

tennis teamNigeria will on Monday begin its quest for glory in the team event of the 2014 International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) tagged African Junior Championship taking place in Cairo, Egypt.

The eight-man team led by national coach, Nosiru Bello and assisted by Dotun Omoniyi will compete against seeded teams such as Tunisia, Algeria and the host nation.

In the team event draw that took place in Cairo, Nigeria’s male team has been pitched against Egypt, Congo Brazzaville, Djibouti and Congo DRC in Group One while Tunisia, Algeria, Angola Cote d’Ivoire and South Africa are in Group Two.

In the female draw, Nigeria will tackle Egypt, South Africa, Angola in Group One while Algeria, Tunisia, Congo Brazzaville and Congo DRC were drawn in group two.

In the cadet team event draw, Nigeria’s male team will battle Egypt, Tunisia and Algeria in Group One while group Two consists of Congo Brazzaville, Angola, South Africa and Djibouti.

For the girls’ draw, Nigeria will tackle Tunisia, Angola and Congo DRC in Group Two while Egypt has to confront Congo Brazzaville South Africa and Angola in Group one.

The top two teams in each group will advance to the semifinal stage of the championship.

The Nigeria male team is made up of Olasunkanmi Oginni, Babafemi Babatunde, Joseph Osedunkwu and Sunday Akomolafe, while the female team has Tosin Esther Oribamise, Agnes Onoja, Ajoke Ojomu and Halimot Ayinla.

Meanwhile, Egypt’s quartet of Aly Ghallab, Mahmoud Fathy, Ahmed Mabrouk and Ahmed Dabous are the top seeded players in the Championships. Ahmed Dabous currently stands in second place behind Algeria’s Yaniss Douifi, with Tunisia’s Kerem Ben Yahia in third spot.

Mahmoud Fathy is in fourth position; Congo Brazzaville’s Gracce Babekidio occupies fifth spot with Aly Ghallab in the sixth.

The ranking produced by the African Table Tennis Federation (ATTF) is a combination of the current ITTF World Rankings combined with the results gained at the immediate previous African Junior Championships.

Tunisia represented by Kerem Ben Yahia, Nadim Ben Mekki, Chouab Lagha and Salim Hassine occupy the second seeded position in the Junior Boys’ Team event with Algeria and Congo Brazzaville being the third
and fourth seeds.

Algeria is represented Yaniss Douifi, Salim Amokrane, Arslane Beldjelali and Abderrahmane Alioua; whilst for Congo Brazzaville the squad is formed by Christ Bientaki, Michel Lignan