Team Nigeria will be hoping to dislodge favourites Egypt, Algeria and Tunisia at the 2019 Africa Para Table Tennis Championships in Egypt and gain enough points that will see them qualify for the Para Table Tennis even at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.
All the participating teams, Egypt, Nigeria, South Africa, Algeria, Tunisia, Cote d’Ivoire and Libya have been accommodated at the Plaza Grand Hotel in Alexandria and the players are eagerly awaiting the commencement on Sunday (today), on what would determine their fate of featuring in the 2020 Paralympic Games.
Already, some players have picked points from their participation in major ITTF-sanctioned para tournaments this year but the icing on the cake will be in Alexandria, when their passage to Tokyo will be guaranteed.
Fresh from settling for bronze medal at the just concluded Egypt Para Open, South Africa’s Theo Cogill was modest in his submission when he said: “I am aiming to secure my place here but I don’t like boasting before any tournament. I am quite optimistic that I will make it here in Egypt,” he said.
However, his closest rival in the men’s Class 10 Nigeria’s Olufemi Ajayi believes he will be unstoppable in Egypt.
“I don’t see anybody stopping me because I have not been stopped in previous tournaments. I know the South African player is my arch-rival but I am ready for any opponent to pick up the maximum points in the tournament,” Ajayi said.
According to the President of Africa Table Tennis Federation, Khaled Al-Salhy, some players will secure their qualification to Tokyo in Egypt.
“It is clear that some players can get their Tokyo 2020 qualification license from his tournament but those are the winners of all classes provided they should have a minimum limit of ranking points to be announced by ITTF soon.
“But those players who will not have the required limit of ranking points but they are winners here, they should fulfill their points rate through participation in ITTF PTT events within the coming six months,” the ATTF boss said.