Table Tennis: Oshonaike Qualifies For Tokyo Olympics, Sets Record

Olufunke Oshonaike ready to serve during a game Photo: ITTF-Africa


Nigeria’s Olufunke Oshonaike has qualified for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, becoming the first African female athlete to do so on seven occasions in Table tennis or in any other sport.

45-year-old Oshonaike defeated Cameroon’s Sarah Hannfou 4-1 (12-10, 11-4, 4-11, 11-7, 11-6) in the deciding match, joining Edem Offiong to make it to the table tennis event.

The former African champion had her first experience in Atlanta 1996.

READ ALSO: Offiong Qualifies For Tokyo 2020 Women’s Table Tennis

Offiong had overcome Gulti Marta of Ethiopia 4-0 (11-8, 11-7, 11-2, 11-5) in her first game and followed it up with a difficult 4-3 (13-11, 11-1, 9-11, 11-95-11, 8-11, 11-6) win over home girl Garci Fadwa.

Meanwhile, Sarah Hanffou and Fadwa Garci picked the last 2 tickets in the women’s singles.

African Table Tennis Federation Honours Segun Toriola

Segun Toriola, Olympic Games, Table TennisThe African Table Tennis Federation has honoured the continent’s most decorated player Segun Toriola at the ITTF Africa senior championships in Morocco.

The African table tennis body is recognising Toriola for putting table tennis on the world map as the first athlete in any sport in Africa to attend seven Olympic games.

The ITTF President, Khaled El-Salhy believes Toriola has what it takes to break his own record by making it to Tokyo 2020.

Mr El-Salhy also commended the player for being an inspiration to young players in Africa with his 100% commitment to the sport on and off the court.

Meanwhile, the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) has confirmed Nigeria’s men’s team have qualified for the 2018 world team championships holding in Sweden.

Egypt and Nigeria qualified based on their performance at the 2016 World Team Championships held in Malaysia in which they finished among the top 36 countries in the world.

Togo also secured its place after finishing second in the fourth division at the World Team Championship in Malaysia.

Others are Algeria, Congo Brazzaville, Tunisia, South Africa and Senegal.

Table Tennis: Egypt Reclaims Men’s Team Dominance

Table Tennis, ITTFEgypt has reclaimed the men’s table tennis team title it lost to Nigeria at the 2015 African Games after beating the West African giant 3-2 in the final of the 2016 ITTF Africa Senior Championship holding in Morocco.

The victory recorded by the Egyptian women team against Tunisia was not as sweet as the win the men’s team had over Aruna Quadri-inspired Nigerian side.

The encounter had the quality expected of it and the players gave the fans something to cheer throughout the match with Aruna Quadri showing his worth against the Omar Assar-led Egyptian side.

The trio of Segun Toriola, Bode Abiodun and Rio Olympic Games quarterfinalist, Aruna Quadri matched their Egyptian counterparts strength-for-strength and it was the same Mohamed El-Beiali that lost the final game at the 2015 African Games to give Nigeria a 3-2 win in Congo Brazzaville that saved the day for the North Africans as he won came from 2-0 down to beat veteran Segun Toriola 3-2 to give throw the Egyptian fans into ecstasy in the 3-2 win.

An excited Ahmed Saleh said: “We knew from the start of the match that Segun Toriola is a dangerous player and we planned that we could take the lead 2-1 and hoping that Omar Assar will defeat Aruna Quadri in the fourth game.

“Unfortunately Omar Assar lost and we were confident that Mohamed El-Beiali will deliver and I am so happy that he did it for us.

“This victory is sweet because that was our main mission in Morocco to reclaim our men’s team title which we lost to Nigeria at the 2015 African Games in Congo Brazzaville.

“I am so happy that I am part of this team and I will cherish this victory for a long time.”

Table Tennis: Aruna Quadri Tops Commonwealth Ranking List

Aruna Quadri, CommonwealthAsides being the best player in Africa, Nigeria’s Aruna Quadri has become the first African player to top the ranking list of players in the Commonwealth.

According to the ranking list released by the Technical Committee of the Commonwealth Table Tennis Federation (CTTF), Quadri who has been playing second fiddle to players from Singapore became the highest rated player among players from the Commonwealth nations.

Among the 277 players listed in the ranking, Quadri garnered 2385 points to beat Singapore’s Gao Ning, which has 2384 to second place. England’s Pitchford Liam has 2277 points to occupy third spot on the ranking list.

Africa’s most decorated player, Segun Toriola is ranked 12th with 2014 points behind players from India, Canada and England. Also Bode Abiodun is ranked 22nd with 1822points.

Prior to the May ranking, Quadri has been playing second fiddle to Gao Ning and as it is Quadri remains the best player among the players from Commonwealth nations.

Quadri also showed his quality in the French league when he aided his team, Jura Morez to remain in the elite division of the prestigious French Table Tennis League.

In the women ranking, no Nigerian made the top 20 list as Edem Offiong and Olufunke Oshonaike were ranked 23rd and 26th respectively.

ITTF Ranking: Quadri Attains 29th In World, 1st In Africa

Aruna Quadri - ITTFNigeria’s Aruna Quadri has moved to 29th place in the latest ITTF ranking and also retains his top place as the highest ranked player in Africa.

Despite being inactive in the ITTF World Tour last month, Quadri with 2,393 points moved by one step to occupy his current position.

His continental rival, Egypt’s Omar Assar, dropped from 36 to 37 in the world.

Fortune also smile on former African Champion and the first African athlete to be competing in seven Olympic Games, Segun Toriola, who improved his world rating from 117 to 109, while Portugal-based Bode Abiodun also gained more points to improve from 185 to 179.

In the women’s ranking, Egypt’s Dina Meshref remains the best rated player from the continent despite dropping from 98 to 97.

The highest ranked Nigerian female player in the ranking is Edem Offiong, who improved her ranking from 242 to 230 while Olufunke Oshonaike, who was ranked 235 in March, has been taken off the world ranking for her inactivity in the last six months.Olufunke Oshonaike

In the Olympic Team ranking, Nigeria remain dominance in the men division despite dropping from 25 to 26 and the West Africa giant are still ahead of Egypt who are ranked 32.

But the North African are far ahead of Nigeria in the women team rating after occupying 31 while Nigeria is placing 40.

To decide the team that would represent the continent in the team event of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, Nigeria and Egypt would have to wait for the May ranking to know their fate.

But, as it is, Nigeria has an edge over Egypt in the men to qualify while Egypt has an upper hand over Nigeria in the women division.

Meanwhile, China’s Ma Long retained his position at the head of the Men’s World Rankings despite finishing second behind compatriot, Zhan Jike at the Kuwait Open.

It is the 14th consecutive ranking that has seen the 27 year-old head the list, since regaining the coveted position in March 2015 at the expense of colleague, Xu Xin.

Overall, it was the 44th time that Ma Long has appeared in top spot, a position he first secured in January 2010.

In the women’s world ratings, Liu Shiwen, Ding Ning and Zhu Yuling once again retained their top three places.

Aruna Quadri Is Africa’s Best Table Tennis Player

QuadriNigeria’s top rated table tennis player, Aruna Quadri, is now Africa’s best and ranked 30th in the latest world rankings.

After months of dominance over Quadri, Egypt’s Omar Assar has been displaced by the 2014 ITTF Star Player who has been in fine form lately.

From the ranking released, Quadri returned to top 30 in the world from the 37th place he occupied in February while Egypt’s Assar dropped to 36 following the defeat he suffered against the Nigerian at the ITTF Africa Top 16 Cup in Sudan.

At the just concluded ITTF World Team Championships in Malaysia, Quadri only lost a match to highly-rated India’s Sharath Achanta while Egypt’s Assar was defeated by lowly-rated players twice at the event. The defeat suffered by the Egyptian is largely responsible for his drop in the ranking.

With this progress, the Nigerian may be on his way to Rio Olympic Games in the men’s event as Segun Toriola also made a triumphant return to the ranking to become the third rated African player in the world.

Toriola, who doubled as player/coach at the ITTF World Team Championship in Malaysia played his heart out to be ranked 116 in the world ahead of Egypt’s El-Sayed Lashin who dropped from 127 to 135.

Also, Nigeria’s Bode Abiodun continued his rise in the ranking as the Portugal-base star is rated 185 to be the sixth rated African player in the world.

According to Olympic team event qualification criteria, the ranking of the three players in each country will determine their eventual qualification for the Olympics.

As it is, Nigerian players are ranked higher than the Egyptians and this was also confirmed by the President, African Table Tennis Federation (ATTF), Khaled El-Salhy, who has said that it is the May ranking of the three top players in Nigeria and Egypt that will decide the eventual team that will qualify for the men’s team event of the Rio Olympic Games.

After the ranking was released, a delighted Quadri said that it is good motivation towards achieving more success in the sport.

Quadri, Toriola Impress In Sudan

ITTF-QuadriNigeria’s Aruna Quadri and Segun Toriola have begun their campaign at the ongoing ITTF Africa Top 16 Cup in Sudan on a solid note.

Quadri have been impressive in two games already decided on Sunday by dispatching Algeria’s Belkadi Aissa 3-0.

He also kept the impressive form to edge out Togo’s Agbetoglo Mawussi 3-1 to stay top of Group 2.

Toriola, who is seeking an Olympic ticket, beat Togo’s Alassani Soudes 3-0 in his opening match in Group 4 and also went on to defeat Congo’s Idowu Saheed by same scoreline.

Edem Offiong, who is also seeking an Olympic qualification, have so far recorded two victories in her Group to stay top.

Quadri, Toriola To Compete ITTF Africa Top 16 Cup in Sudan

Segun ToriolaAfrica’s number two table tennis player, Aruna Quadri and six-time Olympian, Segun Toriola as well as Olufunke Oshonaike and Edem Offiong have been confirmed as Nigeria’s representatives at next month’s ITTF Africa Top 16 Cup holding in Khartoum, Sudan.

In the list of qualified players released by the Africa Table Tennis Federation (ATTF), Quadri who won the tournament in 2014 in Lagos will battle for the title against his rival, Egypt’s Omar Assar who has remained a threat to the Nigerian rise in the continent.

The tournament scheduled to hold on February 14 to 15 has the top 15 players in the continent including a player from the host country to complete the top 16.

Toriola will join Quadri to cmpete for the laurel in the men’s event while Oshonaike who has already secured a place at this year’s Rio Olympic Games in Brazil will be joined in the women event by Edem Offiong who is at present plying her trade in the Portuguese elite league.

Having claimed three titles in 2015, the Egyptian duo of Omar Assar and Dina Meshref, top the list of invitees for the two-day tournament to be staged at the International Conference Centre in Khartoum, the capital city of Sudan.
Winners in the men and women events will represent the continent at the 2016 World Cups.

The players competing at the event are:

Men: Omar Assar (Egypt), Quadri Aruna (Nigeria), El-Sayed Lashin (Egypt), Saheed Idowu (Congo Brazzaville), Segun Toriola (Nigeria), Idir Khourta (Algeria), Suraju Saka (Congo Brazzaville), Olouwachehoun Guiganfode (Benin), Mawussi Agbetoglo (Togo), Sofiène Boudjadja (Algeria), Adem Hamam (Tunisia), Fessou Lawson-Gaizer (Togo), Alain Patrick Jague Niken Jiotsa (Cameroon), Derek Abrefa (Ghana), Emmanuel Ngwe Nikeng (Cameroon)

Women: Dina Meshref (Egypt), Nadeen El-Dawlatly (Egypt), Han Xing (Congo Brazzaville), Olufunke Oshonaike (Nigeria), Offiong Edem (Nigeria), Sara Hanffou (Cameroon), Islem Laid (Algeria), Lynda Loghraibi (Algeria), Zodwa Maphanga (South Africa), Amma Liobaka (Democratic Republic of Congo), Onyinyechi Nwachukwu (Congo Brazzaville), Cynthia Kwabi (Ghana), Harriet Ntumnyuy (Cameroon), Celia baah-Danso (Ghana), Isabel Albino (Angola).

Egypt’s Omar Assar and Dina Meshref are the defending champions of the competition.

Nigerian Table Tennis Players, Weightlifters Start Preparation For 11th AAG

AAGThe Nigeria Table Tennis Federation (NTTF) has called up 20 players to resume camp for the 11th All-Africa Games (AAG) holding in Brazzaville, Congo.

Chief Coach of the Nigeria table tennis team, Nosiru Bello, said that the invited players were selected based on their performance in some of the international and national competitions in the last one year.

Africa’s most decorated table tennis player, Segun Toriola, and 2014 ITTF star player, Aruna Quadri, topped the list of 10 male players invited to camp.

Also, Seun Ajetunmobi, who has been out of the national team in the last two years will be returning to the team as one of the invited players.

Other male players include Ojo Onaolapo, Kazeem Makanjuola, Olaniran Boboye, Olawale Fagbamila, Hammed Hafeez and junior sensations, Nurudeen Hassan and Olasunkanmi Oginni.

The female players will be led by Germany based Funke Oshonaike and Edem Offiong, while others are Cecilia Otu-Akpan, Janet Effiom, Rashidat Ogundele, Bosede Odusanya, as well as junior sensations, Tosin Oribamise, Ajoke Ojomu and Halimot Ayinla.

10 players made up of five male and five female will make the final list to AAG.

Similarly, the Nigeria Weightlifting Federation (NWF) has also invited 30 lifters to camp in Abuja for the AAG in September.

The weightlifters were selected from the just concluded national trials in Ibadan, Oyo State.

According to a statement from the federation, Andrew Ekanem has been appointed as the Head Coach and is expected to work with four other coaches for the games.

ITTF Confirms Nigeria, Others for World Championships in China

table-tennis_Aruna_QadriThe International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) has confirmed Nigeria and 99 others for the World Championships in the Chinese city of Suzhou, China, scheduled to serve off on April 26 to May 3.

Three African players have been listed seeded for the tournament with Nigeria’s Aruna Quadri topping the list in number thirty. Also seeded from Africa in the men’s singles is Egypt’s Omar Assar ranked 32 for the tournament while the only female player in Africa seeded is Egypt’s Dina Meshref listed in number 62 for the tournament.

In the list of Nigerian players confirmed for the championship, Quadri will be joined in the men’s singles by Segun Toriola, Ojo Onaolapo and Kazeem Makanjuola, while in the women’s team, Edem Offiong, Janet Effiom and Germany-based Funke Oshonaike.

According to the world table tennis ruling body, the seeding is based on the World Ranking lists released on Wednesday April 1.

China’s Ma Long heads the Men’s Singles order of merit, followed by his three compatriots Xu Xin, Zhang Jike, and Fan Zhendong. The third on the list but if one player enjoys the big stage it is Zhang Jike, the Men’s Singles winner in Rotterdam in 2011 and two years ago in Paris.

Both Ma Long and Xu Xin have occupied the top spot on the Men’s World Rankings during the past year and more but in a World Championships Men’s Singles event, they have to rise to the levels of which they are undoubtedly capable.

The third seeded position in the Men’s Singles seeding for the reigning champion; it is the same in the Women’s Singles event for China’s Li Xiaoxia, the winner two years ago in Paris. She is named behind compatriots Ding Ning, the champion in Rotterdam in 2011 and Liu Shiwen, the player Li Xiaoxia beat two years ago in the Paris final.

For the doubles event, the draw involving the top 16 seeds will take place on Saturday, April 25 at the Suzhou Cultural and Art Center.

A total of 310 men and 238 women players will compete at the eight-day event with capacity crowd anticipated.