Nigeria’s Funke Oshonaike, Offiong Edem and Olajide Omotayo have qualified for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics in the table tennis event.
Oshonaike would be making her seventh appearance at the Games, a feat which would see her become the first African woman to participate in seven editions of the Games.
It was also an exciting moment for Edem and Omotayo, who sealed qualification at the ITTF 2020 African Singles and Mixed Doubles Olympic qualifiers in Tunisia and secured a semifinal spot.
Meanwhile, Aruna Quadri, the world number 18 ranked player, was forced to withdraw from his last qualification match against Hman Adam of Tunisia in the men’s singles due to a recurring thigh injury.
The result meant Aruna finished third in group A, after earlier losing 2-4 (7-11, 8-11, 8-11, 11-6, 13-11, 7-11) to Senegal’s Ibrahima Diaw and winning one match against Togo’s Dodji Fanny.
Consequently, the former African champion did not qualify but still has a chance to qualify through the ITTF world rankings.
Earlier, Edem became the first Nigerian to qualify after a hard fought 4-3 (13-11, 11-1, 9-11, 11-9, 8-11,11-6) victory over Tunisia’s Garci Fadwa.
She had also defeated Marta Gulti of Ethiopia by 4-0 as well as Abir Haj Salah of Tunisia by the same scoreline.
Similarly, Oshonaike, who would be retiring after the 2020 Olympics, claimed a 4-1 victory over Algeria’s Lynda Loghraibi.
The same score was achieved in Oshonaike’s win against Mauritius Nandeshweree Jalim.
Meanwhile, Omotayo defeated Kizito Oba of Cote D’ Ivoire 4-2 and Algeria’s Larbi Bouriah as well as Tunisia’s Kareem Yahia Ben.
The mixed doubles hold on Saturday.-Eagle Online