Category Archives: Table Tennis

Nigeria’s Oshonaike Not Giving Up On Seventh Olympics Appearance

At 43, Olufunke Oshonaike is not giving up on her plan of setting a new continental record as the first African female athlete to attend seven Olympic Games.

Since making her debut at the Olympic Games in Atlanta 1996 in United States, Oshonaike has represented Nigeria at six Olympic Games and she is poised on making it to Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in Japan.

The former African champion was beaten in the round of 16 of the women’s singles at the 2018 ITTF African Championships in Mauritius but she has insisted that she cannot be forced to quit the sport that she has been romancing for more than three decades.

The Germany-based star said that she would continue to feature for Nigeria with the intention of making it to her seventh Olympic Games in 2020 Tokyo, Japan.

“I am looking forward to the 2019 African Games with the sole aim of qualifying for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in Japan. If I qualify I will be on top of the world because that will be the last time I will play table tennis and after the Olympic Games I will throw in the towel,” she said.

Funke Oshonaike

She added: “I feel very sad because I lost in the singles but I am still good to play for few years. I look younger than my age and i’m not bothered about what people say because age is nothing but a number. It will be my decision to retire but I hope I qualify for the Olympic Games in order to enter the ‘Seventh Club’. After then I can quit.”

Still ruing the women’s team final loss to Egypt, Oshonaike said the team gave their best against the youthful Egyptians, adding that she hopes that younger players come through to the team in near future. “I think we need new players in this team. The Egyptians are familiar with some of us particularly our style of play. So we need to change something in this team with the introduction of new players and this will surely help us whenever we need them again in any competition,” she said.

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Nigeria’s Oladapo Elected as ATTF Deputy President

Nigeria’s Olabanji Oladapo has been elevated as the Deputy President of the African Table Tennis Federation (ATTF) by the Council Board of the continental body.

Oladapo, who was until his election the Vice President, Administration will replace Congo Brazzaville’s Minister, Henri Djombo, who resigned his position as Deputy President.

In a statement signed by the President of ATTF, Khaled El-Salhy, Olabanji’s contribution to the sport coupled with his administrative acumen prompted the CB during the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Federation during the 2018 ITTF African Championships at the weekend in Mauritius to elect him to the post.

The former Secretary General of the Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC) is also a member of the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) Board of Directors (ITTF BOD) and a member of the IOC Commission.

Also, Alfred Bagueka Assobo (CMR) was elected as the Executive Vice President, Administration, while Jean Marie Okouna (CGO) as the Regional Vice President of Central African region.

Due to the diversities of the continent coupled with the vast landmark, the CB of ATTF has expressed its willingness to empower its five regions.

Olabanji Oladapo

According to ATTF boss, the AGM commended the Mauritius Table Tennis Federation (MTTA) for the successful staging of the tournament while they also confirmed in principle the ITTF Strategic Plan.

“They have also approved to give the authority to the ATTF Strategic Plan Working Group to go on with ITTF towards the start of operation in Africa according to the real needs for our continent with full concentration to the following, which is to empower the five African regions for more developmental activities and administration; validate professional staff in ATTF and give higher attention to the players in terms of new training centres, higher prize money and organising super challenge events with other continents” El-Salhy said.

Nigeria’s Quadri and Egypt’s Meshref Emerge as Singles Champions at 2018 ITTF African Championships

Nigeria’s Aruna Quadri and Egypt’s Dina Meshref emerged as singles champions at the 2018 ITTF African Championships concluded in Mauritius on Sunday September 9, 2018.

Quadri did not drop a point from the first round (round of 64) until the final when he defeated Egypt’s Ahmed Saleh 4-1 to win his first African Championships title which he narrowly lost to Egypt’s Omar Assar in 2016.

Also, Meshref, who lost the title to Nigeria’s Olufunke Oshonaike in 2016, reclaimed her title after a convincing 4-0 win over compatriot – Reem El-Eraky in the women’s singles final.

An elated Aruna said he is still eager to win the African Games which he is yet to have in his kitty. “I think I have won virtually all the titles in Africa, the only one I am still hungry to win is the African Games title which I believe I will continue to work hard in order to win it next year in Morocco. I am happy that I am winning this African Championships title for the first time particularly less than one month after I won the ITTF Challenge Nigeria Open in Lagos. I am grateful to the Mauritian fans for their support during all my matches,” he said.

Nigeria’s Quadri and Egypt’s Meshref Emerge as Singles Champions at 2018 ITTF African Championships

Despite reclaiming her title, Meshref admitted that it was a bit hard to win back the laurel particularly with strong opposition from Nigeria’s Edem Offiong in the semifinal. “I am happy winning my title back but it was not an easy task particularly with the match against Edem Offiong. But in all I am happy as I look forward to the ITTF World Cup which is my next tournament this year,” she said.

Egypt Dominates Doubles Events At 2018 ITTF African Championships

From all indications, Egypt will cart home all the medals at stake in the doubles events after Dina Meshref and Ahmed Saleh defeated Nigeria’s Segun Toriola and Olufunke Oshonaike 4-0 to emerge as champions in the mixed doubles event of the 2018 ITTF African Championships holding in Mauritius.

Also in the women and doubles event, it will be an all Egyptian affair in the finals after Dina Meshref and Yousry Helmy set up a final clash against Farah Abdel-Aziz and Reem El-Raky in the women’s doubles while Youssef Abdel-Aziz and Khalid Assar upset Nigeria’s Aruna Quadri and Segun Toriola in the semifinal with a 4-2 win. Ahmed Saleh and Mohammed El-Beiali also beat Cote d’Ivoire’s duo of Kanate Ali and Kizito Oba Oba by same margin to berth in the final.

Dina Meshref has increased her gold medals to two having won the first gold medal in the women’s team event.
On Saturday September 8, the tournament enters crucial stage in the singles as players for places in the last eight of the championship.

The second round match (round of 32) of the men and women singles event hold as the battle for top prize continues at the Beau Bassin Sports Complex in Mauritius.

African champion Dina Meshref of Egypt

Also in the women’s doubles, South Africa’s duo of Danisha Patel and Simeen Mokreey achieved their biggest feat in the tournament after dismissing Nigeria’s duo of Oshonaike and Esther Oribamise 4-1 in the semifinal round to make the medal zone in the event.

Also Ivorien duo of Ali and Oba Oba made it to the podium after beating South Africa’s pair of Shane Overmeyer and Theo Cogill in the semifinal to finish on the bronze medal zone.

Quadri, Meshref Are Top Seeds As Singles Serve Off Today

Nigeria’s Aruna Quadri and Egypt’s Dina Meshref have been seeded as top seeds as the singles event of the 2018 ITTF African Championships serves off on Friday September 7, 2018 in Mauritius.

Action will return to the Beau Bassin Sports Complex after a one-day rest following the conclusion of the team event on Wednesday September the 5th 2018 with Nigeria and Egypt picking the slots for Africa to the 2019 ITTF World Team Cup in Tokyo, Japan.

In the absence of the defending champion – Egypt’s Omar Assar, Aruna Quadri was named the number one seed and he will start his campaign from the second round (round of 32) after getting a bye from the first round.

Also as the second seed in the men’s singles, Egypt’s Ahmed Saleh also got a bye to the second round and the third seed is Egypt’s Mohammed El-Beiali who got a bye to the second round as well.

Aside Meshref who got a bye to the second round, Nigeria’s Olufunke Oshonaike seeded number two also had a bye to the second round.

Aruna Quadri and Dina Meshref

Also the men and women doubles event will precede the kick-off of the singles event while the semifinal of the mixed doubles will hold as well on same day.

It promises to be a busy day for all the teams as they battle for the top spots in the remaining five events (doubles (men and women), singles (men and women) and mixed doubles continues at the championships.

Apart from playing for pride, the players will be aiming to share from the $25,000 prize money set aside for the last four players in the remaining five events.

Nigeria, Egypt Berth At 2019 Table Tennis World Team Cup

Nigeria and Egypt will fly Africa’s flag at the 2019 ITTF World Team Cup in Tokyo, Japan after emerging champions at the 2018 ITTF African Championships holding in Mauritius.

It was Egypt who first confirmed their spot in the global tournament after beating Nigeria’s women team 3-1 in the final but few hours later the Nigerian team led by 2018 ITTF Nigeria Open Champion, Aruna Quadri dethroned Egypt as the new continental winners for men.

African champion Dina Meshref of Egypt

In the last three editions of the World Team Cup, Egypt men and women teams have featured in the tournament and the last time Nigeria’s men team competed was in 2010 in Dubai.

But with the 3-1 win over Egypt in the final, the West African side will return to the global championship come November 2019 in Japan. The tournament is a test run for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

The trio of Dina Meshref, Farah Abdel-Aziz and Yousra Helmy defeated Nigeria’s trio of Edem Offiong, Olufunke Oshonaike and Janet Effiom to retain their title on the continent.

In the men’s final, it was a different scenario as the experience of Segun Toriola counted for the West African team when the seven-time Olympian fought from 1-2 down to beat youthful Khaled Assar 3-2 in the third game to give Nigeria a 2-1 lead after Aruna Quadri had put Nigeria ahead with a 3-2 win over Ahmed Saleh while Bode Abiodun fell 0-3 to Mohammed El-Beiali.

Like a true champion, it was Aruna Quadri who saved the day for Nigeria with an explosive encounter against Mohammed El-Beiali who left the spectators glued to their seat during the tie.

Aruna Quadri and Segun Toriola

Having falling behind 1-2, Aruna Quadri fought back to beat the Arab Cup Champion 3-2 to throw the venue into a frenzy.

A disappointed Ahmed Saleh said: that it was a painful loss especially the loss by Assar to Toriola. “I am so disappointed that we could not retain our title because we had thought we could pick the third game against Toriola. I am not too happy but that is table tennis and we will come back to fight again,” Saleh said.

Aruna Quadri Lifts Less Privileged in Lagos

Away from his regular training ahead of the 2018 ITTF African Championships, Aruna Quadri on Tuesday August 28, 2018 put smiles on the faces of students of SOS Children’s Village International in Isolo, a suburb in Lagos, Nigeria.

Accompanied by his wife – Ganiat Aruna, the 2018 ITTF Challenge Seamaster Nigeria Open champion said he decided to show his compassion for the less privileged as he had to go through thick and thin to become what he is today.

Gboyega Fadowole-Aje (left), Ganiat Aruna; Quadri Aruna and Lawrence Agbaegbu during the visit in Lagos on Tuesday Aug 28, 2018

Aruna Quadri and his spouse were received at the SOS Children’s Village by the National Fund Development and Communication Coordinator, Gboyega Fadowole-Aje who described Aruna’s gesture as commendable while hoping that other sports stars in Nigeria would take a cue from the athlete.

“We want to first of all congratulate you on your victory at the just concluded Nigeria Open and wish you well in your endeavours. We were indeed touched by this your singular gesture and we believe your presence in the Village would surely inspire the children to aim high like you in their endeavours. On behalf of the Country Director, we are grateful and we wish well in your endeavours,” Gboyega Fadowole-Aje said.

For Aruna Quadri, the gesture has been part of his plans to support the disadvantaged people in the society. “This is another way to show love to those who are not privilege and I believe this small gesture will augment what others have been doing for them. I am doing this to also give back to the society where I emerged from and this will not be a one-off thing as I hope to make it a regular in my plans whenever I am home in Nigeria,” the world number 18 said.

Aruna Quadri

Also, the National Store Coordinator of SOS Children’s Villages, Lawrence Agbaegbu believes the efforts of the table tennis star is a welcome development while urging other well-meaning individuals and corporate bodies to support the centre which is an international home for the less privilege.

Aside the mini table donated by Aruna Quadri, food items valued at thousands of dollars was given to the home.

Aruna Quadri also took time out to play table tennis with some of the children in the centre.