July 30, 2021

Oshonaike draws America’s Liu Juan as Omotayo gets Portugal’s Apolonia

Oshonaike draws America’s Liu Juan as Omotayo gets Portugal’s Apolonia

[File] Funke Oshonaike<br />

It’s Offiong vs Hungary’s Dora, Aruna drew bye

Nigeria’s seven-time Olympian, Olufunke Oshonaike, will meet United States’ Liu Juan in the first round of the table tennis women singles event at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. The matches will begin on Saturday at the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium, which hosted yesterday’s draws.

Nigeria’s second lady in the event, Edem Offiong, will start her singles campaign with a game against Hungary’s Madarasz Dona, while Olajide Omotayo will begin his battles in the men’s singles against Portugal’s Apolonia Tiago.

The country’s top star in the event, Quadri Aruna, will begin his campaign in the third round on Tuesday against a yet to be decided opponent. Aruna is among the seeds drawn by in the event.

Matches of the table tennis event will end on August six with the medals and classification games.

In the draw conducted virtually, players from the same National Olympic Committee (NOC) were drawn into different halves.

Seeded first and therefore positioned at the top of the women’s singles draw, China’s Chen Meng faces a potential semi-final head-to-head with either Japanese number four seed Kasumi Ishikawa or the player seeded directly above in Chinese Taipei’s Cheng I-Ching. However, the latter competitor could encounter early danger having lost to her potential round of 16 opponent, Romania’s Bernadette Szocs earlier in the year at WTT Contender Doha 2021.

MEANWHILE, Nigeria’s table tennis sensation, Jide Omotayo, has expressed his joy in the country’s team to the Tokyo Olympic Games.

This is Omotayo’s first appearance at the Olympics.

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“Olympic Games are held every four years and athletes in various sports all over the world look up to it. It is a great honour to be in Tokyo in the colours of Nigeria. To earn a ticket was tough and the Olympics is a bigger stage where one must make the qualification count.

“I am happy having other top and experienced players like Aruna Quadri around me to help in the preparation for the event.

“For me, it is a dream come reality and I feel proud to be part of this.”

He disclosed that he is in top shape for the competition proper, adding, “I am ready. I had the best possible preparation I could achieve and I look forward to the event with high hopes to go far.”

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