Nigeria And Egypt Confirmed For ITTF World Tour

Nigeria And Egypt Confirmed For ITTF World TourThe International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF), confirms participation of Nigeria and Egypt in the first major ITTF World Tour for 2017.

The Hungarian Open will serve off between January 19 and 22 in Budapest.

The largest number of participating players for any country in the tournament is from Nigeria,as the highest ranked player in the continent; Aruna Quadri leads four other Nigerian players to the championship.

All Hands On Deck
African Champion, Egypt’s Omar Assar, will be competing alongside his sibling – Khaled in the competition.

Besides Quadri, other Nigerian players in the $70,000 prize money championship are Italy-based duo of Olajide Omotayo and Kazeem Makanjuola and Portugal-based pair of Bode Abiodun, and Ojo Onaolapo.

Table Tennis: Nigeria Qualifies For Rio Olympics Team Event

Table TennisNigeria has secured a place among the 16 men’s teams that will compete in the table tennis event of Rio 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil.

This development was confirmed based on the May ranking released by the world table tennis ruling body, International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) on Friday.

Nigeria’s men was ranked higher than Egypt to pick Africa’s sole slot for the event.

According to ranking, Nigeria dropped to 27 spot in the world but was ahead of Egypt who was ranked 32.

No Support for Nigerian Table Tennis Players – Oshonaike

OshonaikeNigeria’s experienced female table tennis player, Olufunke Oshonaike, has decried the lack of support the sport is suffering in the country.

Despite achieving recognizable success in the last three years, Oshonaike said that she cannot understand why the National Sports Commission is not willing to assist the federation to consolidate on their efforts.

The Germany-based player told Channels Sports that the negligence from the Sports commission is discouraging.

“I couldn’t make it to the ITTF Africa Top 16 in Sudan because of funding. No one has called me to find out why I did not participate and that’s because they don’t care. I had to pay for my trip to Yaounde for last year’s edition and till today, I’ve not received any refund. It’s just discouraging,” she lamented.

Oshonaike, who has qualified for the Olympics in Rio by reaching the semi-final phase at the African Games in Congo said that it is difficult for players to always pay for trips to represent Nigeria at international competitions.

She added that at the moment she did not know the plans of the Commission as regards the Olympics.

“Let’s not even talk about the Olympic Games yet, that one is in August. Let us talk about the World team Championships in Malaysia that comes up next month. What are the plans for team Nigeria? We don’t even know the players that will feature, no one has been contacted as regards preparations or even travel itinerary.

“For a competition as important as the world championship, that’s not the sort of approach we should give it.”

Oshonaike also spoke about Aruna Quadri’s victory in Sudan, the pride he brings to Nigeria and her wishes for Quadri to get corporate sponsorship that will help him take his game to the next level.

“I’m so excited about Quadri’s victory over Omar Assar. I have been celebrating and posting comments on social media. Quadri is a fighter and hard-worker who will go places in the future but without good support, it will be hard.

“He keeps winning for Nigeria and no one has recognized him and that’s not encouraging. He won the trophy in Sudan and it was announced Aruna Quadri of Nigeria, so that means his country must also be there for him. I want to wish him all the best in his career.”

Segun Toriola and Edem Offiong will begin their quest towards securing tickets to the Olympics on Tuesday in Khartoum, Sudan.

Toriola, who has featured at the Games six times, will make history if he can make a seventh appearance at the tournament.



Quadri Moves 11 Place Up In Latest Table Tennis Ranking

ITTF-QuadriNigeria’s Table Tennis Star, Aruna Quadri, has climbed up on the world rankings, moving 11 places from 48 to now occupy the 37th position.

The upward swing for Quadri is coming on his performance showing in the Hungary and Germany where he amassed 85 points.

His compatriot, Bode Abiodun, also emerged as one of the most active players in the last latest ranking as he moved up from 236 to 213 in the world.

Egypt’s Omar Assar maintained his status as the best-ranked African player in the world, despite dropping from 29 to 31.

Oshonaike, Quadri Qualify For Rio 2016 Olympics

OlympicsNigeria’s Aruna Quadri and Olufunke Oshonaike have qualified for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games after making it to the semifinal stage of the singles event of the 2015 African Games in Congo Brazzaville.

For Oshonaike, it’s a dream come true as she has equaled Segun Toriola’s record of six appearance at the games after making her debut at the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games in United States.

To book her place, Oshonaike defeated Egypt’s Yousra Helmy 4-2 to set up a semifinal clash against another Egyptian Nadeen El-Dawlatly on Saturday September 19.

With this qualification, Quadri who defeated Egypt’s Ahmed Saleh 4-1 in the quarterfinal will be making his second appearance at the games after his excellent debut in 2012 when he made it to the second round.

For the semi-final tie, Quadri will battle against Egypt’s Khalid Assar who edged out Nigeria’s Ojo Onaolapo in the quarter-finals.

Other players who have sealed qualification are Egypt’s Assar brothers, Omar and Khalid as well as Chinese-born Wang Jianan who defeated Segun Toriola 4-1 in the quarter-finals.

The other three players that secured Olympics slots alongside Oshonaike are Egypt’s Dina Meshref and Nadeen El-Dawlatly as well as Chinese-born Congo Brazzaville’s Han Xing.

Quadri Moves To 43 In ITTF World Ranking

Aruna QuadriNigeria’s Aruna Quadri has moved from 56 to 43 in the September world rankings released on Wednesday by the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF).

Quadri’s return to the top was made possible following his scintillating performance at the last Czech Open where he defeated top seeded players from Japan and Germany.

In the ranking, Quadri is among the most active players, having garnered 54 points from his performance to rise to 43.

When Quadri was at 56th place in August, he had 2204 points, but moves to 43rd with 2262 points. He trails Egypt’s Omar Assar,  who dropped from 30 to 36, following his second round exit at the Czech Open last week.

Meanwhile, Quadri is hoping for a better outting in his second appearance at the African Games in Congo Brazzaville.

“I am hoping for the best at the African Games because this is going to be second games for me and I will be very happy if I can do so much better than what I did in 2011.

“Also most important for me is to qualify for the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil,” he said.

He however expressed optimism on Nigeria’s overall chance in table tennis, adding that with the newly-appointed German coach, the needed technical input would be available for the team.

“I think nothing is impossible for Team Nigeria in Brazzaville because we have been preparing in the last two months and I seriously believe that this preparation is enough to conquer Africa.

“In short, we have bright chance of winning more medals than any team and I am sure Nigeria will surprise everyone in all events as we are capable of emerging as overall champion,” Quadri added.

He admitted that it would not be an easy challenge for Nigeria as teams like Egypt, Congo Brazzaville and Algeria are equally good.

“It is going to be very difficult for all teams because the standard is really improving in Africa and for this reason I am expecting a tougher challenge from all participants.

“I think it is going to be very difficult for Egypt to dominate as Nigeria is fully ready for the big war in Brazzaville”.

The 11th edition of the African Games will begin on Thursday, September 4 2015 and team Nigeria will be hoping to impress in table tennis.