Thursday, May 30, 2024

2024 ITTF World Championships: Opening Day Disappointment For Nigeria And Other African Teams

The 2024 Busan ITTF World Championships got off to a poor start for African teams, with five countries getting dissapointing outcomes on the first day.

The opening matches of the 2024 Busan ITTF World Championships saw disappointing results for African teams, with Algeria, South Africa, Madagascar, and Nigeria facing defeats in both the men’s and women’s events held in South Korea.

Algeria faced tough opposition, with both their men’s and women’s teams suffering 3-0 losses to Chile and Austria, respectively.

The Algerian women’s trio of Amina Kessaci, Lynda Loghraibi, and Malissa Nasri struggled against their Chilean counterparts, while the men’s team, led by Mehdi Bouloussa, couldn’t overcome the challenge posed by Austria.

South Africa, replacing Tunisia, also had a rough start, as they were defeated 3-0 by Iran in their opening match.

Meanwhile, Madagascar’s youthful team surprisingly lost by a narrow margin, a 1-2 defeat against the Czech Republic, as they were unable to match the experience of their European opponents.

For Nigeria who faced pre-tournament setback with the withdrawal of Quadri Aruna and the late arrival of Bode Abiodun, were walked-over by Japan in their opening match.

Nigeria now faces a challenging situation with only tow Tennis players available for the ITTF World Championships.

The other African team, Egypt,  will kick off their campaign against Romania, while their female team will take on the Czech Republic on Saturday, February 17, 2024.

Nigeria’s team-leader and veteran Table Tennis player, Segun Toriola expressed disappointment at Aruna Quadri’s absence, describing it as a significant setback for the team.

However, he remains optimistic about Nigeria’s chances of progressing from the group, despite the challenges they face.

Toriola said: “I am aware that the Japanese are afraid of Aruna and their coaching crew have been worried about their formation of their team but when the news filtered that Aruna would not be coming, they were a bit relieved that they have a bye to the next game.

” But we can give up even though it is a big blow to the team here in Korea and we will not give up hoping that we can progress from the group,” the former African champion said.

Meanwhile, defending champions China narrowly avoided defeat against India, coming back from a 2-1 deficit to win 3-2 against the Indian team led by Manika Batra, as they began their title defense in Korea.

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