Nigeria has been beaten to all the available tickets to the Olympic Games Table Tennis team events at the African Championship taking place in Tunisia
In the battle for the Mixed Doubles Olympics ticket to Paris 2024, Egypt’s duo of Omar Assar and Dina Meshref defeated Olajide Omotayo and Funke Oshonaike 3-1 (11-8, 6-11, 11-1, 12-10) in the final in Tunisia.
In what is not just a final, but a qualification ticket for a mixed doubles Olympics qualification to Paris 2024, Team Egypt took the first set in a mouth-watering close-opening tie 11-8.
Olajide Omotayo and Funke Oshonaike representing team Nigeria recovered from dropping the first set to claim the second 11-6, stunningly.
The 3rd set went by like a rocket as Team Nigeria was out of rhythm for most of the set, a couple of errors and immobility were their major undoing in an 11-1 annihilation, as Team Egypt led 2-1 after three sets.
Despite the best efforts of the duo representing team Nigeria in the final set, there was no coming back in the 4th set.
The firepower of the Egyptians was just too much as the Nigerians succumbed to a 12-10 loss in the final set.
The 3-1 loss meant Team Nigeria would not be participating in the Table Tennis Mixed Doubles at the 2024 Paris Olympics next year.
Egypt also swept up the other tickets at stake for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games after beating Nigeria in the final of the men and women’s team events at the 2023 ITTF African Championships taking place in Tunis, Tunisia.
The Egyptian ladies were the first to pick their ticket as they handed out a 3-0 mauling defeat to Nigeria in the final.
The tournament saw Nigeria and Egypt on an unbeaten run as they maintained a 100 per cent record without dropping any set till the finals.
But it was the Egyptians who dominated in the finals with Dina Meshref, Hana Goda, and Marwa Alhodaby beating the trio of Fatimo Bello, Offiong Edem, and veteran Olufunke Oshonaike.
The heavily one-sided encounter once again witnessed the dominance of Egypt in the continent as it saw the North Africans qualify for their third consecutive Olympic Games at the expense of Nigeria.
An elated Goda said she was happy that they claimed the sole ticket while hoping that the Egyptian team would claim more medals at the continental showpiece.
The men’s final was well contested by Egypt and Nigeria but the Egyptians came out victorious with a 3-1 win.
Assar Omar was in fine form for the North Africans, alongside his compatriots El-Beiali Mohamed, and Abdel-Aziz Youssef triumphing against the West African trio led by Aruna Quadri, who wasn’t at his usual best, alongside Omotayo Olajide, and Mati Taiwo.
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