Nigeria’s Edem Offiong, Olufunke Oshonaike, Olajide Omotayo and Quadri Aruna are among the 135 players listed by the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) for the singles events of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics scheduled for Japan next month.
Participation at the Tokyo 2020 Games will make Olufunke Oshonaike the first woman table tennis player in the world to feature in seven Olympic Games and the first African woman in any sport to participate in seven editions of the global fiesta.
Nigeria’s Segun Toriola, who is among the four athletes to have played in their seventh Games, is not listed among the competitors this term.
In a newsletter sent to Tidesports source, yesterday, the ITTF said 65 men and 70 women would contest for the medals at the Games, while 16 countries would vie for medals in the mixed doubles event. Nigeria did not qualify for the team events of the competition and therefore are not among the teams listed for the mixed doubles.
The table tennis event will hold at the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium from July 24 to August 6, 2021. According to ITTF, the “mixed doubles event will make its debut at this year’s Olympics and sees pairs of two players, one woman and one man, competing on a single-elimination knock-out. Three medals are at stake at the mixed doubles event with each National Olympic Committee (NOC) allowed to feature one pair.”
The ITTF added: “All eyes will also be on Nigeria’s Quadri Aruna as he leads the African charge after being the first African to make the quarter-finals in the Rio games in 2016.
“The qualification system for the Tokyo Olympics is based on the following:
16 teams (per gender) are allocated for the men’s and women’s team events, and these places are given concurrently with other qualification events.
“A maximum of 70 places (per gender) are available for the men’s and women’s singles events. The final number will be determined based on the players who have qualified for the other events. There are a total of 86 players per gender across all three events. 16 mixed doubles pairs are available for the mixed doubles event.”
Infantino Reveals How Nigeria Can Host FIFA Competitions
FIFA President, Gianni Infantino last Thursday, in Abuja, revealed how Nigeria can be made a destination for top Grade A football matches and FIFA competitions.
Infantino gave the insight when the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare took him on a tour of the renovated main bowl of the MoshoodAbiola National Stadium.
The FIFA boss, who was visibly happy with the re-grassed pitch at the stadium, said well-maintained stadia with good pitches were key to hosting grade A matches.
He said FIFA was ready to work more closely with Nigeria to develop the game and host more grade A matches in the country.
“We (FIFA) have to make sure when a country, when a government with the President, the minister and private persons are investing in football, in stadia, we work with them to give something back.
“It’s obvious that stadiums like this (MoshoodAbiola stadium) and others in Nigeria deserve the best quality games.
“They deserve top national team games, top club games and it’s not just about Nigerian football or African football, it’s about global football.
“We are working together to see what kind of new opportunities, competitions we can bring for men and women to fill this stadium and make the heart of the stadium beat for the fantastic spectacle that all of the Nigerian love, which is football,” he said.
Earlier, the minister said the Federal Government will continue to invest in sports development and facilities.
Tidesports source reports that the FIFA President, in the company of the minister, had earlier visited President Muhammadu Buhari at the Statehouse, as part of his engagement.
Why NFF Must Offset Rohr’s Salaries, Bonuses – Aikhomogbe
Former Nigerian goal keeper, Andrew Aikhomogbe has called on the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) to resolve every outstanding salaries and bonuses owed to the Super Eagles coach, Gernot Rohr before the next World Cup qualifiers against Central Africa Republic (CAR).
Aikhomogbe made this known on the backdrop of the football body’s recent deal with Baba Ijebu.
Although the financial details of the deal was not disclosed, Aikhomogbe in an interview with Newsmen from his base in Cairo, Egypt, stated that the NFF should use this platform to offset Rohr’s salaries and bonuses.
“It’s a big delight to know that the Nigeria Football Federation have signed a deal with Baba Ijebu and this will serve as an opportunity for them to use part of the money to pay Rohr’s salaries and bonuses.
“There is no better time to motivate him than now before Nigeria’s next 2022 World Cup qualifiers against the Central Africa Republic (CAR) on October,” he said.
Enyimba Players Vow To Support Finidi
Enyimba FC Goalkeeper, John Noble has stated that the players of the People’s Elephants will be key to the success of the newly appointed coach of the team, Finidi George.
Finidi, signed a two-year deal with Enyimba and oversaw his first full training session with the team on Thursday after a cameo appearance on Wednesday.
Speaking in a chat with Tidesports source, Noble gave his assessment of the coach in his first session under the manager and believes the former Super Eagles winger has what it takes to lead the team to the next level.
He added that the Enyimba players will be the ones to hand Finidi George his success at the club.
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