Nigeria’s table tennis team now have their work cut out as they are billed to take on host – Egypt- in the final of the team event at the ongoing International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) Africa Senior championship in Cairo.
The two teams will be aiming for the gold medals in the men and women events of the championship.
Nigeria secured a berth in the final of the women division after trashing Algeria 3-0, while Egypt had a narrow escape against Congo Brazzaville in the thrilling semifinal tie which ended 3-2 in favour of the North Africans.
In the men cadre, it was literally a battle of brothers as Ojo Onaolapo started the rout against Congo Brazzaville team made up of the trio of Saheed Idowu, Saka Suraju and Abiodun Lawal, who were all Nigerians but have since defected to the Central African country
Idowu gave Onaolapo a run for the win as the game was stretched to five with the left-hand Onaolapo winning 3-2.
ITTF World Player of the year, Aruna Quadri, did not disappoint the fans in the second match against Suraju as he whitewashed the ageing Congolese star 3-0 to put the game at 2-0 in favour of Nigeria
Homegrown Kazeem Makanjuola had a torrid time against Lawal as the game was stretched to five but it was the Congolese that won 3-2 to put the match at 2-1.
To ensure that Nigeria sail through, Quadri completed the victory with a 3-0 win over Idowu.
On Sunday, the two finals will be played at the International Hall of Police Sports Association in Cairo.
Since the commencement of the competition, Quadri has not dropped any match, a feat table tennis buffs believe has confirmed his rating as the world’s best.