Sports

February 17, 2024

Nigeria, Egypt lose matches at ongoing ITTF World Championship

Nigeria, Egypt lose matches at ongoing ITTF World Championship

Two of Africa’s representatives, Nigeria and Egypt, have suffered defeats at the ongoing ITTF World Table Tennis Championships (WTTC) taking place in Busan, South Korea.

A statement by Olalekan Okunsan, the Public Relations Officer (PRO), Nigeria Table Tennis Federation (NTTF), stated that while Nigeria lost 0-3 to Chinese Taipei, Egypt were beaten 3-0 by Romania in their first group match.

It would be recalled that there was a walkover of the Nigerian men’s team by Japan following the absence of Quadri Aruna and the late arrival of Bode Abiodun in the country’s first match at the championship.

Okusan stated that another African representative, Algeria, also lost to France in the men and women events, while South African ladies were no match for their Brazilian counterparts in their second match of the group.

The loss of the four African representatives meant that the continent is still searching for its first win at the ongoing championships.

“The Nigerian women’s team lost their second group match against Slovakia, while they were expected to take on Germany on Sunday, Feb. 18.

“In their quest to record their first group win, the Nigerian men’s team will take on their African counterpart, Madagascar, in what promises to be brother-against-brother.

“Egypt’s search for their first win will put them against Portugal in their second group match, while Algeria will rest in readiness for their tie against Denmark on Monday, Feb. 19,” Okusan said in the statement.

Olajide Omotayo, a Nigerian table tennis player, while reacting, described the absence of Aruna as a major setback to the team while still nursing the ambition of advancing from the group.

“It was very bad that we lost gallantly against Chinese Taipei, but sports can be like this sometimes, and my partner just arrived in Korea, so he’s a bit tired.

“Also, our key player is not here, and we can’t win every time. We’ll fight for the next match.

“Chinese Taipei has very good and strong teams, and they have more experience and play really well.

“For the next match, we need to go to sleep because I haven’t slept since I got to Korea,” the 2019 African Games champion said. (NAN)