Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps,

NSCDC has won the International Table Tennis Federation, ITTF, Africa Club championships’ women’s title with ENPPI of Egypt taking the men’s category.

NSCDC beat fellow Nigerians, Ocean Front 3-2 (2-3, 3-0, 3-0, 3-2, 0-3) in the final to win the championships.

On their way to the final, the team made up of Esther Oribamise, (women’s singles champion of the western regional table tennis championship), Fatimo Bello and Halimat Hussein saw off Commercial Bank of Ethiopia 3-1, (3-0, 2-3, 3-0, 3-0).

ENPPI, who are claiming the title for the second time overcame Remo Stars trio of Amadi Omeh, (men’s singles champion of western regional table tennis championship), Taiwo Mati, and Azeez Solanke in three straight sets 3-0 (3-2, 3-0, 3-1).

The Egyptian team, trounced eventual winners of the third-place game, IUG Douala of Cameroun 3-0 (3-0, 3-0, 3-0).

One of the Egyptian players, Antoine Hachard, who is playing in Nigeria for the first time, was excited with the victory. He however admitted that the Nigerian team was a difficult side to beat.

“For me, it’s my first time playing in the championship and it is a really great experience, the atmosphere is always crazy, and it’s very nice to play here.

“The Nigerians, they play very well, they are great players. I think they are the future in the next five to ten years, so they need to keep going. They are doing great.”

Major improvements

For coach of Remo stars, Dotun Omoniyi, a second place finish is a major improvement having won the bronze in the last edition. He however insisted his side were unlucky not to have won the title.

“They tried their best. You know they are young and upcoming players. Hachard has an edge over our players. He has more exposure than our players, he is better ranked than the Nigerians. He was brought in because of this championship. He plays division one in Europe. In all, we were lucky to have won the silver medal.

“Last club championships we won bronze, this year is silver, in the future, we will win the gold as we keep improving throughout the years”, Ominiyi added.

The final phase of the ITTF Table Tennis African championships, the Africa Cup, begins this Thursday, May 26, 2022, where Africa’s bests, including Nigeria’s world No 10, Aruna Quadri who is seeded number one in the men’s category and 2021 champion as well as Maraim Alhodaby, who is the number one women’s seed, will jostle for tickets to the 2022 World Table Tennis Cup finals.

Other seeded players are Egyptian duo of Omar Assar and Ahmed Saleh ranked 20th in the world as well as Olajide Omotayo of Nigeria for men’s singles while 14-year-old world No 1 in U15 and U17, Hana Goda of Egypt is the number two seed in the women’s event just as her compatriot and six-time African champion, Dina Meshref is seeded third.

Nigeria’s celebrated Olympian, Olufunke Oshonaike is also in the cards.

Source: Voice of Nigeria © 2023. All Rights Reserved