Nigeria’s 2007 All Africa Games gold medallist and arguably the most decorated female table tennis player in Africa, Olufunke Oshonaike has slammed the organizers of the just concluded ITTF Challenge Nigeria Open 2017 for not taking good care of the Nigerian players like their foreign counterparts.
Speaking to Brila FM Lagos this morning she said: ‘It’s worrisome when Nigeria hosts an ITTF event and our players had to provide accommodation for themselves.’ This is actually troubling considering that the foreign players were lodged in Eko hotel and suites and well taken care of.
She added that the treatment did affect her performance in the tournament as she was booted out by women’s U21 champion Piccolin Giorgia from Italy. ‘Nigeria did not really treat me well at the Open. I had to do a lot of things on my own regarding welfare. I was dealing with the trauma in the event and personal issues on the day I lost in the singles,’ she said lividly.
She however expressed optimism in the young Nigerian players as she reckoned that there is hope for table tennis in Nigeria. This, she said is the reason for the work her foundation is putting in to help the young players adding that she wouldn’t rest or retire until she sees a better version of her. ‘I need a better me and I am not going to rest until I have a better me because without having a better me, Funke Oshonaike cannot actually retire. I need somebody to take over from me.’
In the end, Funke did cut the new NTTF President, Engr, Ishaku Tikon and his board members some slack by saying that the new board is barely 3months old and she believes something good will still come out of them.