Category Archives: Table Tennis

Nigeria’s Edem, Abiodun Qualify To Main Draw At ITTF Portugal Open

Nigeria’s Offiong Edem and Bode Abiodun have worked their way into the main draw of the 2020 ITTF Challenge Plus Portugal Open after their stunning victories on Thursday February 13th, in the preliminary round of the singles event.

Edem, who is competing in her first tournament in readiness for the doubles tournaments holding this month in Tunisia as by her performance against Kazakhstan’s Anastassiya Lavrova confirmed her readiness for the ITTF Africa Top 16 Cup and the Olympic Qualifying Tournament (OQT).

Despite going down 3-1 (8-11, 11-4, 3-11, 16-18) in the tie, Edem regained her composure to record a convincing win over the European with 14-12, 11-6, 11-2 win to claim a 4-3 win coupled with a passage to the main draw of the women’s singles.

Like Edem, Abiodun is also competing in his first major tournament this year started well from the first round of the preliminary when he took down Scotland’s Niall Cameron 4-0 (11-6, 11-7, 11-3, 11-6) to et up a second round tie against Germany’s Cedric Meissner.

But the German gave Abiodun a tough challenge when he took a 2-1 (11-9, 5-11, 5-11) lead, the Nigerian international regained the lead to win the last three games at 11-7, 13-11, 11-9 to complete a 4-2 victory and sealed his place in the main draw of men’s singles.

Edem Offiong

Edem and Abiodun will join their compatriot – Olajide Omotayo who is already seeded in the main draw for their campaigns which serves off on Friday February 14th in the elite stage of the competition.

But what started well for teenage sensation – Taiwo Mati in his debut in international senior tournament came to an end on Thursday February 13th, as he fell to England’s Tom Jarvis 4-0 (4-11, 2-11, 5-11, 5-11) in the second round of preliminary. Mati had on Wednesday pummeled Guyana’s Miguel Wong 4-0 (11-5, 18-16, 11-4, 11-1) to pick some ranking points from the tournament.

Unlike Mati who sailed to the second round of the preliminary, Ismaila Akindiya was nowhere that stage as he was beaten early by Switzerland’s Lars Posch 4-1 (11-6, 1-11, 10-12, 3-11, 6-11) to make an early exit while Ganiat Aruna was no match to Italy’s Giorgia Piccolin after the former national junior champion fell 4-0 (1-11, 7-11, 4-11, 2-11) to the Italian star.

German Bundesliga Table Tennis Club Signs Nigeria’s Aruna Quadri

Nigeria’s Aruna Quadri has teamed up with a top club in the German Bundesliga Table Tennis league after the world number 18 was unveiled on Monday February 3, by the management of the club led by its President, Stefan Frauenholz.

The deal was brokered by WEOAllSports and Quadri is expected to join the club – TTC RhönSprudel Maberzell Fulda based in the Central part of Germany from next season (September 2020) in the elite division of the Bundesliga.

German Bundesliga Table Tennis Club TTC RhönSprudel Maberzell Fulda Signs Nigeria’s Aruna Quadri

According to the President of TTC RhönSprudel Maberzell Fulda Stefan Frauenholz, the decision to sign Quadri was based on the team’s conviction that the Nigerian has a lot to offer based on his global exploits.

“We are so lucky to sign Aruna Quadri because he is such a good player with excellent results. This is a family club and we believe his passion and interest tally with the ideals of the club. We are so happy to unveil him today and we hope he can bring his wealth of experience to help the team next season,” Frauenholz said.

German Bundesliga Table Tennis Club TTC RhönSprudel Maberzell Fulda Signs Nigeria’s Aruna Quadri

An excited Quadri said he was happy fulfilling his dream of playing in the German Bundesliga having spent over 10 years playing in the Portuguese league with several laurels to show for his efforts. “I am happy joining this team and I see that it is a family club with good ideals and for me I am going to give 100 percent to the team. I look forward to having a good experience playing against the best in the Bundesliga to continue to improve my career,” the Rio 2016 Olympic quarterfinalist said.

For the Chairman of WEOAllSports, Wahid Oshodi, the signing of Quadri by the German club is a confirmation of his hardwork and commitment to his trade. “We are so excited that teams across Europe appreciate the progress Quadri has made over the years. He is now one of the best players in the world and we hope this move will give him the opportunity to improve his skills and continue to improve his global rating. The Bundesliga has the best players in the world and Quadri will feel at home there. Aruna Quadri is such an amazing player who is very popular among the Germans and we are not surprised that some of the best teams in the world wanted him. We hope this will serve as an inspiration for the younger Nigerian players,” Oshodi said.

German Bundesliga Table Tennis Club TTC RhönSprudel Maberzell Fulda Signs Nigeria’s Aruna Quadri

Quadri’s started his sojourn to Europe in 2010 and he has played for several clubs in Portugal while his present team is Sporting where he had won several medals including making it to the semifinal stage of the ETTU Champions League. At Sporting, he has remained unbeaten in the last five years while he has won back-to-back league titles with the Lisbon-based team.

Lagos Comes Alive For Maiden Vaulejet Para Table Tennis Open

The much-anticipated Valuejet Para Table Tennis Open serves off on Thursday December 19 at the Molade Okoya-Thomas Hall of Teslim Balogun Stadium in Lagos with hundreds of players aiming to share from the N10.8m purse.

Apart from Nigeria, eight African countries are in Lagos for the three-day tournament which ends on Saturday December 21st 2019.

Commonwealth silver medalist, Faith Obazuaye

Egypt, South Africa, Algeria, Morocco, Cote d’Ivoire, Benin Republic, Togo and Ghana will compete in the 44 events tournament for players in class 1 to 10. The hundreds of players will compete in singles, team and doubles events.

For Rio Paralympian, Ahmed Koleosho, the tournament would provide the players the platform to compete against their foreign counterparts, particularly the local players who are yet to compete at a higher level of the game. “I am so excited that we are hosting this kind of competition and I am hoping and believing that we will make Nigeria proud. It will surely give upcoming players the opportunity to compete against their more experienced counterparts,” the Tokyo 2020-bound paralympian said.

For the President of the Nigeria Table Tennis Federation (NTTF), Ishaku Tikon, staging the tournament would help players that had already qualified for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games to tune up for the sports fiesta in Japan come next year.

“This is a good development for table tennis in Nigeria and we are grateful to our sponsor – Valuejet for deeming it fit to support the championship. We are excited and we can wait for the tournament to kick off as our aim is to make it a ranking event by 2020 on the ITTF calendar. This is another first from NTTF and we hope our players and visitors will enjoy the warmth of Lagos and Nigeria during the competition,” the NTTF boss said.

Rio 2016 Paralympian, Ahmed Koleosho of Nigeria

According to the project consultant, Sunday Odebode, the aim of the tournament was to expose the players to a world class tournament particularly as they are expected to compete against some of the best players in Africa.

“We want to use this competition to develop para table tennis in Nigeria while also promoting the talents of the players. We believe this tournament will enhance the sport as well as give us leverage to stage and be listed among the ITTF tournament in the near future. Our players will also be exposed to competition amongst themselves and other players coming to Nigeria for the championship,” Odebode said.

Ahead of the start of the tournament on Thursday December 19th, from December 16 to 18, an ITTF classifier, Elsayed Mehrem arrived Lagos to classify some of the Nigerian players to their various classes

Olajide Omotayo Shines As Nigeria Dominates Men’s Table Tennis Singles Event At African Games

Olajide Omotayo gave an inkling of what he has in stock again at the 12th African Games as the Nigerian defeated one of the continent’s most celebrated star – Egypt’s Ahmed Saleh 4-3 in the quarterfinal of men’s singles to berth in the semifinal of table tennis.

Omotayo was all over the Egyptian in the encounter which had the fans glued to their seats throughout the match.

The Nigerian combined his backhand with forehand smoothly and this confused the Egyptian who surrendered to the youthful Nigerian star.

Aside Omotayo, Aruna Quadri also walloped Congo Brazzaville’s Saheed Idowu 4-0 to berth in the last four and set up a rematch of the ITTF Africa Cup against Egypt’s Omar Assar on Thursday August 29.

Seven-time Olympian Segun Toriola was at his very best when he also beat Egypt’s Khalid Assar 4-3 to set up a semifinal clash against Omotayo.

In the women’s event, Olufunke Oshonaike played her last game after going down 3-4 to Egypt’s Farah Abdel-Aziz. Dina Meshref also beat Algeria’s Lynda Logrhaibi 4-0, while Edem Offiong humbled Egypt’s Reem El-Eraky.
Cameroun’s Sarah Hanffou berthed in the last four after beating Egypt’s Yousra Helmy.

Offiong will battle Hanffou while Meshref will face her compatriot – Abdel-Aziz in the second semifinal on Thursday the August 29th.

Nigeria’s Olajide Omotayo

An elated Omotayo said: “I am so excited that in my first African Games I made it to the semifinal. I knew that it was going to be a tough game against of the most experienced African players and I just ensured that I did not get angry on table because he did everything to upset me but I was determined. I was calm and I am happy that this is a good outing for me in the singles.”

Tunisia to host Africa Table Tennis Olympic Qualifying Tournament

The city of Tunis in Tunisia will host the African Olympic Qualifying Tournament for the Tokyo 2020.
Tunisia was chosen ahead of the Algeria during the 33rd Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the African Table Tennis Federation (ATTF) held in Rabat, Morocco on Saturday August 25, 2019.

13 delegates that formed a quorum at the AGM voted with Tunisia getting eight votes while Algeria got five votes to concede the hosting rights to Tunisia.

Egypt had already secured the sole slot for the team event for Africa as two of its players are expected to compete in the singles and doubles event of the Tokyo Olympic Games while the qualifying tournament in Tunisia will produce another four male and four female players to complete Africa’s slots for the Games in Japan.

Nigeria narrowly lost the slot to Egypt in the men and women’s event at the finals of the 12th African Games with Egypt winning the two events at 3-2 with Omar Assar and Dina Meshref spearheading the North African triumph.

ATTF 33rd Annual General Meeting delegates

Africa’s highest ranked player, Nigeria’s Aruna Quadri will be joined by players from Tunisia, Congo Brazzaville and others at the Qualifying Tournament in Tunisia and each nation is expected to register two men and two women players for the qualifying tournament. Four men and four women will qualify to Tokyo from Tunisia.

According to the President of Tunisia Table Tennis Federation (TTTF), Lotfi Guerfel, the country has the necessary experience to stage a befitting tournament. “We have the required experience to stage a world class tournament and the Olympic Qualifying Tournament would not be an exception. We will be hosting the Africa Top 16 Cup as well and we are ready to welcome the whole continent,” the TTTF boss said.

Madagascar is expected to host the 2020 Africa Cadet and Junior Championships while Cameroon will stage the African Senior Championships.

African Table Tennis Teams Battle For Tokyo 2020 Slots

The battle for Africa’s slots in the men and women team events of Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games begins on Wednesday August 21 at the 12th African Games holding in Rabat, Morocco.

18 men’s teams and 12 women’s teams will battle for the continent’s sole slot in the men and women’s event of Tokyo 2020.

The continental powerhouses – Nigeria and Egypt are top seeds in the men and women events with Nigeria men aiming to defend the title they won in 2015, while the Egyptian ladies led by Dina Meshref will also be keen to hold to the title.

African champion Dina Meshref of Egypt

Both teams have been handed an easy ride to the knockout stage with Nigeria drawing Madagascar and Kenya in Group A of the men’s event while Egypt is in Group B alongside Congo DRC and Eritrea.

In the women’s draw, Egypt as the top seed are in Group A with Kenya and Morocco while Nigeria has been pitched against Uganda and Congo Brazzaville in Group B.

The top seven teams in the event will also secure qualification to the 2020 World Team Championships holding in Busan, South Korea.

Aruna Quadri and Segun Toriola

MEN:

Group A (Nigeria, Madagascar, Kenya);

Group B (Egypt, Congo DRC, Eritrea);

Group C (Congo Brazzaville, Mauritius, Angola);

Group D (Algeria, Senegal, Ethiopia); Group E (Togo, Ghana, Djibouti);

Group F (South Africa, Tunisia, Morocco)

Aruna Quadri

WOMEN:

Group A (Egypt, Kenya, Morocco);

Group B (Nigeria, Uganda, Congo Brazzaville);

Group C (Algeria, Mauritius, Congo DRC);

Group D (Tunisia, South Africa, Ethiopia).

Two teams from each group advance to the next stage with the winner in the men and women events qualifying for Tokyo 2020.

Nigeria’s Aruna Quadri Stuns Japanese Star To Hit Semifinal of Bulgaria Open

Aruna Quadri stunned one of the most decorated Japanese stars in table tennis to reach the semi-final round of the ITTF World Tour tagged Bulgaria Open.

Quadri’s Match was the last quarterfinal in the men’s singles and the Bulgarian fans were treated to an exciting moment as there were unbelievable scenes in Panagyurishte after the Nigerian Table Tennis hero knocked Japanese no.4 seed Jun Mizutani in a seven-game thriller.

Aruna Quadri

After the Match The 2019 Nigeria Open champion expressed his appreciation to the Bulgarian fans for their unrelenting support during the encounter.

Trailing 1-2 on games, Aruna Quadri who is well known for his comebacks and his fighting spirit shone through on this occasion, saving two game points in game four before going on to recover from 4-9 down to win game five 11-9.

Mizutani responded well to claim game six, forcing a decider: 9-6 down Mizutani refused to give up the fight, going on to hold two match point opportunities.

However, Aruna Quadri showed nerves of steel, saving both points before going on to steal the win (8-11, 11-9, 6-11, 12-10, 11-9, 4-11, 13-11).

In an earlier quarterfinal tie, Portuguese qualifier Marcos Freitas is through to the last four in Panagyurishte thanks to a fantastic victory over no.15 seed Chinese Taipei’s Chuang Chih-Yuan.

At the start of play it was the Chinese Taipei player who looked good for the win, claiming the opening game by an eight point margin but Freitas also enjoyed his spells of dominance over the course of the match.

Ultimately it was game seven that produced the main story: 6-7 down Freitas opted to call a timeout, a decision that proved useful as the Portuguese star fought back to win the decider 11-9 and earn his spot in the penultimate round (3-11, 11-2, 11-3, 11-13, 4-11, 11-5, 11-9).

Aruna Quadri

Japanese teenage sensation Tomokazu Harimoto takes his place in the semi-finals of the men’s singles draw following a tight affair with fellow Japanese compatriot Takuya Jin.

Down 3-0 on the scoreboard Jin needed to form a response and one did arrive with the qualifier pulling a game back. Then in game five Jin held game point advantage on two occasions but failed to convert as top seed Harimoto held his nerve, sealing the win by a 4-1 margin (11-7, 11-6, 14-12, 7-11, 13-11).

German Dimitrij Ovtcharov’s men’s singles run has ended in the quarter-finals stage in Panagyurishte after the second seed lost out to world no.110 China’s Zhao Zihao in an exciting battle.

The 22-year-old pen-hold grip player from China started strongly and deservedly gained a healthy 2-0 lead.
Up against the ropes Ovtcharov raised his performance, winning two of the next three games to reduce the deficit to 3-2. In game six the two players gave it their all but there could only be one winner and that proved to be Zhao Zihao (11-6, 12-10, 8-11, 11-6, 5-11, 11-9).

In the semifinal tie scheduled for Sunday August 18, Aruna Quadri will face China’s Zhao Zihao, while Portugal’s Marcos Freitas will take on Japan’s Tomokazu Harimoto.