Nigeria will confront Egypt today (Wednesday) in the final of the men’s team event of the 2016 International Table Tennis Federation (IITF) Africa Senior Championships holding in Agadir, Morocco, sportpeak.wordpress.com reports.
Both teams met in the final of the 2015 edition with the Nigerian men’s team emerging champions.
According to ITTF-Africa, to qualify for the final, Nigeria on Tuesday walloped Algeria 3-0, while Egypt inflicted the same scoreline against Congo Brazzaville also on Tuesday.
Looking forward to the final, Nigeria team captain and Olympic veteran, Segun Toriola, said it was going to be a tight contest but tipped Nigeria to come out tops.
“I think it is going to be a 50-50 match because they (Egypt) are nervous having seen what Aruna Quadri did at the Rio Olympic Games,” Toriola said.
“With the present form of Aruna, he has been playing with a lot of confidence and this is very important. We are ready for them because it promises to be an exciting match.
“I could notice that they have started fidgeting by asking whether Bode Abiodun will join the team in the final. They know the quality of Bode Abiodun and I believe we will try our best to show our superiority over them in the final,” Toriola assured.
For Egypt’s top table tennis player, Omar Assar, he believes they would use the encounter to correct their mistakes at the 2015 African Games.
“We knew from the start of the competition that we will meet Nigeria in the final and so we have prepared well for them. The Nigerian team is a very strong side with the presence of Segun Toriola and Aruna Quadri who are both playing very well lately.
“We have learnt from our mistakes at the 2015 African Games when we were leading 2-1 to lose 3-2. The Nigerian side never gives up and they always fight till the end.
“I also trust my teammates because they are all in good shape and our philosophy is that we all fight for the team and this is what we are taking into the final against Nigeria,” Assar boasted.
The ITTF Africa Senior Championship will run from October 24 to October 30 and will serve as qualification for the World Team Cup and the ITTF World Table Tennis Championship both in 2017, and the 2018 ITTF World Table Tennis Championship.