Nigerian players eye laurels at ITTF table tennis tourney


Tosin Oluwalowo

Nigeria players will begin their quest for laurels on Tuesday (today), at the 2021 ITTF World Table Tennis Championships in Houston, United States.

Africa’s top-ranked player Quadri Aruna and No. 1 ranked women’s player in the country Offiong  Edem are among Nigerian players taking part in the competition.

Others include African Games singles champion Omotayo Olajide and Bode Abiodun.

Quadri – seeded 13th – will be hoping to go beyond the third round of the competition which he reached in 2019, losing to world No. 1 Fan Zhendong.

He has been drawn against Belarusian Aleksandr Khanin who is ranked 152nd in the world in the first round.

Olajide will also play against Brazilian player Gustavo Tsuboi who defeated Aruna in Round 3 of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, while Abiodun was paired against India’s Amalraj Anthony.

Nigeria’s sole female representative, Edem, will play Hong Kong’s Hoi Kem Doo in the women’s singles first round.

Africa will be represented by a contingent of 17 players. They include Egypt’s Omar Assar, Ahmed Saleh, Khalid Assar,  Dina Meshref, Yousra Helmy and Farah Abdel-Aziz.

Other are Senegal’s Ibrahima Diaw, Algeria’s Sami Kherouf and Katia Kessaci

The completion which starts on Tuesday will end on November 29.

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