Nigeria Table tennis star, Funke Oshonaike will not be under any pressure to succeed at the 2017 ITTF Challenge Seamaster Nigeria Open in Lagos as long as she gets the support of Nigerians.
Oshonaike has participated at the tournament since its inception in 2014. She wants Nigerians to rally behind her when the competition begins on Wednesday.
“I am not under any pressure to succeed. I am at home and a Nigerian. As a Nigerian, I expect support from my people because we don’t get to see competitions like this all the time in the country,”said Oshonaike.
The six-time Olympian is expected to face tough competition from Africa number 1 tennis player, Dina Meshref who she last defeated at the African Championship in 2016.
Oshonaike is counting on her experience to see her through the competition.
“I am above 40, Dina is a young girl and she has lots to give. I am more experienced and I think my experience played a role the last time I beat her,” she said.
She also acknowledged the other seeded players who she admits will be a nut to crack when the competition begins on Wednesday.
“All the seeded players are very good.I am seeded number 6 and I can tell you Players from 1-8 are very good players. I hope i will be able to put in my best and win something.”
Shao Jieni (Portugal), Pergel Szandra (Hungary), Dina Meshref (Egypt), Kulikova Olga (Russia), Bernadett Balint (Hungary), Funke Oshonaike (Nigeria), Ganna Farladanska (Ukraine) and Krittwika Roy (India) are the eight seeded players.
She pledged to do well as long as she gets the required support from Nigerians.
If things go according to plan, Funke Oshonaike will surprise everybody, Oshonaike submitted.