Seven-time Olympian Segun Toriola in action for Nigeria at the Rio 2016 Olympics. Photo Credit: ITTF
The battle for Africa’s slots in the men and women team events of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games begins on Wednesday, August 21st, at the 12th African Games holding in Rabat, Morocco. 18 men teams and 12 women teams will battle for the continental sole slot in both categories.

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

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 is 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.

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)

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’s respective events qualifying for Tokyo 2020.

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Yemi Olus is a Senior Sports Writer 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 National Sports Festival and the African Athletics Championships, and has also freelanced for the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN).

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