By; AYO OJEDOKUN, Lagos
The danger of Nigeria female team missing the 2016 ITTF Africa Championships held in Morocco has emerged as the team has been ruled out of the 2018 World Team Championships by the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF).
This was as a result of the country to compete in the team event that stopped the team from making the cut as it was only Olufunke Oshonaike that was able to sponsor herself to the tournament, which she claimed the women singles title at the expense of Egypt’s Dina Meshref.
With this development, Egypt will be leading five other African teams to the tournament holding on April 29 to May 6 in Halmstad, Sweden.
However, the world table tennis ruling body has confirmed the men’s teams of Nigeria and Egypt as well as five other African countries for the 2018 World Team Championships holding in.
Nigeria and Egypt make the list of teams that qualified automatically for the tournament based on their world rating and performance at the 2016 edition in Malaysia but they are expected to campaign in the second division after both teams failed to make it to the Championship division in 2016.
Unlike Nigeria and Egypt as well Togo, who qualified based on the outing in 2016, the likes of Algeria, Congo Brazzaville, Senegal, South Africa, and Tunisia made the cut following their performance at the 2016 African Championship in Morocco.
Egypt is the only female team that made the automatic cut for the championship while the likes of Algeria, Congo Brazzaville, South Africa, Morocco and Tunisia picked their slots in Sweden following their performance and presence at the 2016 African Championship in Morocco.
China tops the list of teams expected in Sweden as they are the men and women defending champions but all eyes will be on Germany this year following the possible displacing of China’s Ma Long as world number one by Germany’s Dimitrij Ovtcharov in the January 2018 ranking to be released this week.