Nigeria’s table tennis team to the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham have been handed a tricky draw in the opening round of the men and women’s category.
The men’s team, led by world No.11 Quadri Aruna, will face West African rivals Ghana, South Africa and Cyprus in the first round.
Other players in the men’s team are current African Games champion Omotayo Olajide, Bode Abiodun and Amadi Omeh.
They will face South Africa in their opening South Africa game on Friday (today) at the NEC Table Tennis Court 4, in Hall 3 before battling Ghana later in the evening.
Their final group game is against Cyprus on Saturday.
In the women’s category, Nigeria will aim to progress from Group 1 after being drawn with Singapore, England and little-known St Vincent and The Grenadines.
2022 Africa Cup finalist, Fatimo Bello, Esther Oribamise, Offiong Edem and Ajoke Ojomo are the female players table tennis stars representing Nigeria at the Games.
hey will face St Vincent and The Grenadines in their opening game today, before confronting Singapore later in the evening.
Their last group game is against England on Saturday.
Nasiru Bello, national coach, Nigeria Table Tennis Federation, says his players are in high spirits and in top form ahead of their opening games.
“The preliminary draws were concluded Wednesday and today (Thursday) is a free day for us to train more. I assure you and I pray that the athletes will emerge winners in all of their categories,” he said.
Also, Fatimo Bello, Nigeria’s top ranked player in women’s table tennis, said, “We are in good shape at the moment and I believe we will do well in Brimingham. Individually, I have been training on my own and I’m confident about our chances.”