Aruna, Oshonaike to play in African Senior Championships
The tournament is the qualifier for the 2021 ITTF World Championships scheduled for November.
The Nigeria Table Tennis Federation (NTTF) has released a list of 12 players for the 2021 African Senior Championships which will hold from September 1 to September 7 in Yaounde, Cameroon.
The national cadet champion Samuel Boboye has been included in the men’s team which has Olympians Quadri Aruna and Olajide Omotayo.
The others are national stars Bode Abiodun, Azeez Solanke and Taiwo Matti.
In the women’s team are national under-21 champion Bukola Ajayi, national champion Fatima Bello, as well as Olympians Offiong Edem and Olufunke Oshonaike.
Also, Lagos State champion Bose Odusanya will be making her national team debut.
Cecilia Otu-Akpan, on her part, is returning to the team since her last appearance for the national team at the 2019 African Games in Rabat, Morocco.
The tournament, organised by the African Table Tennis Federation (ATTF), is the qualifier for the 2021 ITTF World Championships scheduled for November in Houston, U.S.
Speaking on the team selection, the chairman of the NTTF caretaker committee, Ishaku Tikon, pointed out that the inclusion of young players was necessary.
“In view of the possible exit of some older players in the national teams in no distant time, we want these young players to play alongside some of the established stars.
“This will help them garner some experience while playing with the stars.
“It is clear that some of our players will soon leave the stage and it is imperative for us to start building a new team made up of young players.
“We are aware that exposing these players early will help build their confidence as well as give them an edge when it comes to international events,” Mr Tikon said.
Meanwhile, Aruna did not go past the third round of the recently concluded Olympics while Oshonaike, 45, crashed out in the preliminary round of the table tennis women’s singles event.