Following her quarter-final loss to the winner of the Women’s Singles title at the 2010 African Championships in Yaoundé, Sarah Hanffou of Cameroon, 42 year old Olufunke Oshonaike is ready to end her career. Oshonaike is displeased at the lack of motivation whenever she represents Nigeria at various competitions.
The 31 year old Parisian based lawyer, Hanffou, defeated Nigeria’s Oshonaike, the no.2 seed in six games (11-6, 12-14, 8-11, 11-5, 11-5, 11-8) at the ongoing ITTF-Africa Top 16 Cup in the Kenyan capital city of Nairobi.
Oshonaike said, “I don’t think I want to be interested in table tennis any more. Nigeria doesn’t need me, Nigeria doesn’t support me, and everything I do is done by me.
“I have to pay for everything any time I am travelling it makes no sense,” she said
The number two seed also lamented lack of respect from her nation which is a source of distraction to her game.
“I’ll be sleeping at night thinking about how to motivate myself. I cater for my needs whenever I have to travel. Where I live in Germany, they love and respect me, they love what I am doing but when we talk about Nigeria they don’t care about you.
“Other players that are here are being taken care of by their countries but where I come from, I am not respected and they don’t respect table tennis players everything we are doing is just for ourselves. I don’t care anymore if things doesn’t get better. If I can’t focus on my game then there is a problem. I can’t play table tennis like this,” she lamented
“Sarah is like a friend and sister she deserved to win because she was settled, but Funke wasn’t settled because she had a lot on her mind.”
In other matches played in the quarter finals, Dina Meshref, the top seed, beat Christy Bristol of the Seychelles (11-3, 11-3, 11-7, 11-4); Offiong Edem, the no.4 seed, ended the hopes of Tunisia’s Safa Saidani (5-11, 11-7, 3-11, 11-5, 12-10, 11-8). There was also defeat for Egypt’s Farah Abdel-Aziz, the no.3 seed, she lost to Algeria’s Lynda Loghraibi (7-11, 6-11, 11-9, 5-11, 11-5, 11-6, 11-6).
In the semi-finals to be played on Saturday, Egypt’s Dina Meshref meets Nigeria’s Offiong Edem while Lynda Loghraibi faces Sarah Hanffou.
Meanwhile, Meshref hopes she can defend her title when she meets no.4 seed Edem in one of the semi-finals.
“I am very happy to reach the semi finals I stil hope I can reach the final and win the title. Edem is a very good player she plays really well and its going to be a tough match I need to focus tomorrow(Saturday) to be able to win the match.”
On her part, Edem believes the winner from her semi-final match up will eventually win the title.
The semi finals of the men’s singles will also be played on Saturday and will see top seed Omar Assar face Saheed Idowu while Nigeria’s Quadri Aruna confronts Ahmed Ali Saleh.