Six-time Olympian, Segun Toriola and 2014 ITTF Star Player, Aruna Quadri will spearhead Nigeria’s quest for the title at the 2015 ITTF Africa Senior Cup holding in Yaounde, Cameroon.
The tournament serves as qualifiers for the ITTF Men and Women World Cups holding later in the year.
The three-day championship serves off on Tuesday July 21 to 23 while it will be followed by ITTF Africa Club Championship involving teams from the continent.
At the ITTF Africa Senior Cup, two players are expected to represent each country in the men and women singles with Egypt’s El-Sayed Lashin and Han Xing as defending champions.
The winners in the men and women singles events will represent Africa at the ITTF World Cups.
According to Toriola, Nigeria has the wherewithal to clinch the title as Egypt and Congo Brazzaville are under pressure to
“I saw the Egyptian and Congolese teams in China and they are really preparing well. I was aware that the Congolese team has been in China since last year because they are the host of the All Africa Games and they want to perform well. Also, I met the Egyptians who are also eager to know who will be representing Nigeria at the tournament. But with what I saw I know the Congolese and the Egyptian teams will be under pressure to perform well. But as for Nigeria, we will not be playing under pressure as everybody is relaxed,” he said.
Toriola believes taking part in the competition would afford him the opportunity to know his present form ahead of the All Africa Games.
“I have short preparation for the event because I started practice this week and with my experience I am sure I will still play very well. My focus is not on the title because anything can happen in table tennis but I know my experience as former champion will be helpful in Cameroon,” he admitted.
The 2002 Commonwealth Games champion tips Nigeria to excel, “As for Nigeria, I think Nigeria is the favourite for this tournament,” he said.