ITTF Confirms Nigeria, Others For 2018 Youth Olympics

The International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF), has confirmed the qualification of Nigeria, Egypt and Tunisia for the Youth Olympic Games holding in Argentina.

The Youth Olympic Games will hold in Buenos Aires Argentina from October 6 to 12, 2018.

According to the ITTF, Egypt’s duo of Youssef Abdel-Aziz and Marwa Alhodaby, Nigeria’s Tosin Oribamise and Tunisia’s Nathael Hamdoun, will represent Africa in the table tennis event at the games.

The ITTF also called on national associations to make sure they give their players adequate preparation in order for Africa to put up a good performance.

ITTF Lists Nigeria, Egypt For Youth Olympics Qualifiers

ITTF Lists Nigeria, Egypt For Youth Olympics QualifiersThe International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) has confirmed that 11 countries will contend for four slots available for Africa in the 2018 Youth Olympics holding in Argentina.

The countries listed are Nigeria, Egypt, Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco and Libya.

Others include: Ethiopia, Sierra Leone, Congo Brazzaville, Congo DR and Madagascar.

The qualifiers for the Olympic Games is expected to take place at the El-Menzah Stadium in Tunis, Tunisia.

Egypt’s duo of Youssef Abdel-Aziz and Marwa Alhodaby are top seeds while Nigeria’s Azeez Solanke and Esther Oribamise trail the Egyptians.

ITTF Confirms Team Nigeria For 2016 Olympic Games

Team-Nigeria-International-Table-Tennis-FederationThe International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) has formally confirmed Team Nigeria as one of the 16 countries that will compete in the men’s team event of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil.

In the list released by the world table tennis ruling body, Team Nigeria will represent Africa at the event alongside world and Asia champion, China as well as Germany, United States, Australia and hosts, Brazil.

Other countries that made the cut based on their world rating are Japan, hong Kong, Portugal, , Korea Republic, France, Sweden, Austria, Poland, Chinese Taipei and England.

With this development, aside Segun Toriola and Aruna Quadri, who have qualified to play in the singles event, the team will have Bode Abiodun, who is the third highest ranked Nigerian in the world as the third player to complete the required number of players expected to form a team for the Olympic Games.

However, in the women’s team event, Egypt will represent the continent alongside, China, Germany, United States, Australia and host – Brazil. Others are Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong, Korea Republic, Chinese Taipei, Korea DPR, Netherlands, Romania, Poland and Austria.

Meanwhile, Paraguay’s Marcelo Aguirre and Syria’s Heba Allejji are the players to receive the Tripartite places for the respective Men’s Singles and Women’s Singles events at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. The decision was announced by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

Both players have received formal approval from their respective National Olympic Committees.

Marcelo Aguirre is the winner of the Men’s Singles title at the 2013 Latin American Championships in San Salvador. It will be the third consecutive time that Aguirre has competed in the Olympic Games.

He was present in Beijing in 2008 when likewise he receive the Tripartite place, before qualifying for London 2012 Olympic Games by emerging successful in the Latin American Qualification tournament staged in Rio de Janeiro.

Marcelo Aguirre, named at number 228 on the current World Ranking is the highest listed player to meet the criteria.

For Heba Allejji, it is her Olympic Games debut. Impressively, despite the problems facing her country, at the age of 19 has a World Ranking of no.677. She competed in the 2016 Asia Olympic Qualification, the 2016 ITTF World Tour Qatar Open and the 2015 Asian Junior Championships.

The Tripartite places at Olympic Games like Universality places at Youth Olympic Games aim to provide universal representation as a fundamental aspect of the Olympic Games.

The Tripartite Commission allocates places for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games to National Olympic Committees who fielded less than eight athletes in individual sports or disciplines at the last two editions of the Olympic Games.

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.

Nigeria Qualify For ITTF World Junior Championships

Nigeria-male-Junior-table-tennis-teamDespite its inability to feature in the 2015 edition of the ITTF African Junior and Cadet Championship in Mauritius, Nigeria returns to the world stage at junior level after joining Egypt’s male team to secure a place in the 2016 ITTF World Junior Championships holding in Pretoria, South Africa.

Top seed, Egypt, continued their unbeaten run in the competition to seal their place at the World Juniors, after beating Congo Brazzaville in the semi-final to make it to the final at the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) African Junior & Cadet Championship holding in Algiers.

Nigeria’s road to South Africa was not without efforts, as the West African giant had to fend off host – Algeria in the quarterfinal before setting up a semi-final clash against the highly-rated Tunisia.

Abayomi Animasahun
One of the team members, Abayomi Animasahun

As the last match on Day Two of the championship, the clash between Nigeria and Tunisia had all the suspense expected of such game, being the deciding match to determine the two first teams to qualify for the World Juniors.

Algeria Junior Open Champion, Tunisia’s Omar Ammous could not save his team from the hand of the Nigerians despite winning his match against Azeez Solanke with Amadi Omeh and Abayomi Animasahun recording emphatic victories over Saadaoui Mootezz and Oueslati Raed.

Omar Ammous tried to restore parity for the Tunisians but the skills of Nigeria’s Amadi Omeh was too much for him to handle as he fell 3-1 to concede an overall 3-1 defeat to Nigeria.

Nigeria and Egypt will battle for the Junior Boys’ team title while Tunisia will be aiming to complete the three World Championship continental slots when they confront Congo Brazzaville in the third place match on same day.

In the junior girls’ team, the semi-final pairing will see Egypt clashing against Angola while Nigeria will take on host, Algeria, in the second semi-final tie.

The winners of the semi-final matches will automatically qualify for the World Juniors while the winner of the third place will complete the continental three team slots.

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.

 

 

Aruna Quadri To End 2015 As World Number 50

quadriNigeria’s Aruna Quadri will end 2015 as the world number 50 tennis player.

This is according to the latest ranking released by the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF).

In 2015, Quadri featured in more than five ITTF World Circuits, with his best being the Lagos Open, where he played in the final against Assar.

In Europe, he took part in the German, Spanish, Polish, Croatian and Swedish Opens.

Quadri was also in the Kuwait and Qatar Opens where he managed to make it to the last 32 in some of the tournaments.

His best outing in Europe was at the Croatian Open where he made it to the last 16.

Quadri Ready For ITTF World Tour In Poland

ITTF-quadriAfter a disappointing start in the French League, Nigeria’s Aruna Quadri will this week return to the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) World Tour in Warsaw, Poland.

Last week, Quadri could not save his French team, Morez from losing 4-zero to Chartres A.S in the elite league of the French Table Tennis League.

Quadri is seeded number 25 and he will start his campaign from the main draw of the men’s singles of the five-day tournament.

In the men’s doubles, the Nigerian will partner his continental arch-rival and friend, Egypt’s Omar Assar.

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.

Animasahun Continues Fine Form At ITTF Hopes Challenge In China

Abayomi-Animasahun-finishes-second-at-ITTF Nigeria’s 12 years old table tennis talent, Abayomi Animasahun, once again, put up a good display to finish second at the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) Hopes Challenge in Shanghai, China.

Animasahun defied all odds to win silver in the boys’ singles of the 2015 ITTF competition.

Animasahun has made good improvement on his performance at his first international competition at the Egypt Junior Open in June where he won the U-12 boys’ singles.

He also finished among the top eight at the China Junior Open last week. Some ITTF officials have described the Nigerian player as Africa’s prospect in the sport.

From the group stage, Animasahun stunned some of the highly-rated players from Netherlands and Thailand to settle for second place after losing to United States’ Nikhil Kumar in one of the three matches in the preliminary round. But for placing second, he joined the American boy to qualify for the semi-final stage.Animasahun

In the quarterfinal match, he continued his fine-form to beat New Zealand’s Nathan Xu 8-11, 11-9, 11-9, 11-5) to set up a semi-final tie against Belgium’s Adrian Rassefosse which he won. He finally set up a rematch against the American boy who had earlier defeated him in the group stage.

However, he lost again in the final match as the American won the match at 11-8, 11-6, 11-6 to be crowned the boys’ champion.

The performance of the young Nigerian has received praise from ITTF Education and Training Coordinator, Dejan Papic.

“Animasahun attracted a lot of attention, first he managed to outlast Nathan Xu of New Zealandin long top spin exchanges. The surprise victory made him hot, he moved better in the semi-final against Belgium’s Adrian Rassefosse and played with increased confidence. But in final, he ran out of steam and American Kumar played better in each game. It seemed the fact that Kumar being a left hander was one of the deciding factors,” Papic said.

In the girls’ singles, Egypt’s Sara Elhakem emerged winner after beating Germany’s Sophie Kee in the final. Nigeria’s representative Muibat Bello finished eighth at the competition that featured sixteen players.

ITTF World Tour Serves Off In Lagos

Lagos OpenAfter months of preparations, particularly the confirmation of participants, the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) World Tour, Lagos Open is set to serve off on Tuesday, March 10 at the Molade Okoya-Thomas Hall of Teslim Balogun Stadium.

Eighty-two players drawn from 11 countries will compete in the $46,000 prize money tournament, which is also a world ranking event, listed on the ITTF World Tour calendar as a challenge series.

As the second challenge series after the Hungary Open, the tournament will once again renew the fierce rivalry between Nigeria and Egypt as the North African team has a 12-man contingent competing in the six events at the championship.

Unlike the previous editions, where players are expected to compete from the group stage to qualify for the next stage, this year’s edition has a knock-out format, where players will only progress after
winning each match.
According to Competition Manager who has appointed by the ITTF, Mounir Bessah, the stage is set for the commencement of the competition as everything has been put in place by the host.
“I am satisfied with what I have seen so far and there is an improvement from what I witnessed last year. I think the tournament is improving each year and I am happy with the atmosphere coupled with the kind of organisation put in place. We are also hopeful that the players will have an exciting time in Lagos.

“The equipment is of world standard as it meets ITTF specifications while the hotel and logistics are also perfect. I believe that the tournament will be more exciting this year with the quality of players competing this year,” Bessah said.

An elated President, Africa Table Tennis Federation (ATTF), Khaled El-Salhy, believes Lagos Open has become a rally point for Africa, with the quality of organisation and the presence of Lagos fans who
most times make the tournament very glamorous.

“I am looking forward to the huge support the players used to get from the Lagos fans. I think this competition is unique because the fans are always there for the players and this alone makes the tournament different from every other in the continent. I must commend the efforts of the Nigeria Table Tennis Federation (NTTF) led by Wahid Oshodi for their commitment and sincerity in igniting the love for the sport among the fans and for us in ATTF, this is very important for our sport to grow and get more sponsors,” the ATTF boss said.

Africa’s number one table tennis player, Nigeria’s Aruna Quadri has arrived for the championship and had his first training on Monday. He has also promised to put behind him the disappointments of Cairo, Kuwait and Qatar by giving the home fans reasons to cheer at end of the Lagos Open.