Nigeria’s quest for promotion to the Championship Division at the 2018 ITTF World Team Championships came to an abrupt end yesterday at the Halmstad Arena in Sweden.
As the only African team campaigning in the second division, Nigeria’s good run from the group stage was ended by Slovakia who defeated the African team second time in the competition.
After defeating Spain in the last 16, Nigeria were on their way to gain promotion to the elite division but they met a strong Slovakia who inflicted another defeat on them.
In the group match, it was Slovakia that confined Nigeria to second place in Group F and three days after beating the African side, the European again repeated same feat and this time around in a convincing style.
The trio of Aruna Quadri, Bode Abiodun and Olajide Omotayo were beaten by the Slovak’s trio of Lubomir Pistej, Samuel Novota and Wang Yang.
It was Pistej who first drew the first blood from Quadri with a 3-1 win and what would have restored parity for Nigeria was halted by Novota who beat Abiodun 3-2.
The youngest member of the Nigerian team, Omotayo wanted to put the team back into the game but the defensive style of Yang was too much for the youngster to cope.
With the 3-0 bashing of Nigeria, Slovakia will now face Hungary in the semifinal as the Hungarians defeated Italy 3-1.