Monday, 7 March 2016

World T’tennis: Nigeria remain in Div Two

Segun Toriola

Nigeria will remain in the Division Two of the International Table Tennis Federation’s World Team Championship for the next two years after they failed to get promotion to the Championship Division at the ITTF Perfect 2016 World Team Table Tennis Championship in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia which ended on Sunday.

Nigeria’s men’s table tennis team lost 3-2 to India at the quarterfinal stages of the competition and as such could not secure promotion to the elite division of the competition. The elite division has countries like China, Germany and Austria among others.Also, at the end of the women’s tournament, the decision of the ITTF is still being awaited to know if Nigeria’s women’s team would remain in the Division Two of the competition. According to the Nigeria Table Tennis Federation, Nigeria’s women failed to feature in the tournament in Malaysia after they failed to secure sponsorship to Kuala Lumpur.

The defeat by India on Friday ensured that Nigeria finished 29th in the final standings of the tournament on Sunday. They are tied in position with Belgium, Spain and Puerto Rico. The team however, has the chance to gain promotion to the elite division in 2018.

Nigeria’s continental rivals, Egypt, also failed to gain promotion from Division Two. Their men’s team lost to India in the semi-finals to finish 27th along with Serbia while their women’s team finished 29th. Egypt finished ahead of Nigeria in the ranking having made it to the semi-final stage while Nigeria did not advance beyond the quarterfinal round.

However, the race for the African single ticket for the men’s team event of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games will continue between Nigeria and Egypt as their players aim to garner points to become the best team from the continent.

The finale rankings, which will decide the Olympic slot, will be released in May by the ITTF.

But with the absence of Nigeria’s women team, Egypt has automatically qualified for the women team event of the Olympic Games.


Punch

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