The two powerhouses of table tennis in Africa, Nigeria and Egypt played with ease in their group matches of the table tennis event of the 2019 African Games holding in Rabat, Morocco.
As the top seeds in men and women events, Kenya and Madagascar were no match to the Nigerians while the Egyptian men also defeated Eritrea and Congo DRC to top group A and B. They are expected to get a bye to the quarterfinal stage.
Just like it happened in the men’s event, so it was in the women’s category as the Nigerian ladies led by six-time Olympian Olufunke Oshonaike walloped Congo Brazzaville and Uganda 3-0 while Egypt also inflicted same defeat on Morocco and Kenya to progress to the last eight of the competition.
But the order was tilted in Group D of the men’s event as unseeded Senegal upset number four seed, Algeria 3-2 to top the group, while Togo also beat Ghana by same margin to emerge as the top team in Group E.
The battle for the sole continental slot in the men and women event for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games continues on Thursday August 22, 2019 as teams compete for places on the quarterfinal which holds on Thursday August 22, while the semifinal and final hold on Friday August 23 with winners qualifying for Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
For African women singles defending champion, Dina Meshref of Egypt, nothing can stop the Egyptian from clinching the title.
“I think it is a bit tougher because this is the Olympic Games qualification event. It was not like that in previous editions and that is what I think makes it more competitive. For us I think we have 60 percent chance of winning and clinching the sole ticket to Tokyo. We have prepared very well and we are in good shape to face any team”, said.