Team Nigeria’s contingent on Wednesday, June 27th, departed Lagos for the 2019 Africa Para Table Tennis Championships holding in Alexandria, Egypt.

The tournament serves as continental qualifiers for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games holding in Japan.

Paralympian trio of Tajudeen Agunbiade, Nosiru Sule and Ahmed Koleosho, as well as six others, were named by the Nigeria Table Tennis Federation (NTTF) for the championship.

The tournament serves off on June 30th, with players from Egypt, Algeria, Cote d’Ivoire, Nigeria and Tunisia aiming to secure their places at the Paralympic Games.

For three days, the players will compete in 10 classes with all eyes on Nigeria, Egypt and South Africa, who are top contenders in Africa.

Other members of Team Nigeria are Olufemi Alabi, Faith Bazuaye, Farinloye Victor, Faith Obiora and Popoola Surakat, while Sunday Odebode will tutor the team.

NTTF Board member, Elderson Bankole, led the delegation to Egypt.

According to the President of African Table Tennis Federation (ATTF), Khaled El-Salhy, the tournament would afford the players the chance to amass points for their eventual qualification for Tokyo 2020.

“The tournament is very important for African players to get an event with factor 50 (F50) to raise their ranking points compared with the other available events far away in other continents with (F20) or maximum (F40), taking into consideration that ranking points is very important to lead for qualification to Paralympics Games and World Title Events.

“This is the first African PTT in four years, as we had the same event in Agadir, Morocco, in 2015 (which was also qualification for Rio 2016), thus all African PTT players are so keen to take part this year with the F50 event and a good chance for direct qualification to the Paralympics Games,” he said.

Yemi Galadima is a Senior Sportswriter and Editor at Making of Champions. She has a bias for Athletics and was previously a Sports Reporter at the National Mirror, where she hosted a weekly column ‘On the Track with Yemi Olus’ for over two years. A self-acclaimed ‘athletics junkie’, she has covered national and international events live, such as the African Athletics Championships, African Games, Olympics and World Athletics Championships. She also freelances for World Athletics.


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