Nigerian Para Table contingent left the shores of Nigeria on Wednesday to Alexandria, Egypt for the 2019 Africa Para Table Tennis Championships which starts in four days.
The tournament which starts on June 30th serves as qualification games for the 2020 Tokyo Para Olympics.
The Nigerian delegation to Egypt is led by National Table Tennis Federation Board member, Elderson Bankole.
Other members of Team Nigeria are Olufemi Alabi, Faith Bazuaye, Farinloye Victor, Faith Obiora and Popoola Surakat, while Sunday Odebode will tutor the team.
The Nigerian Table Tennis had announced Paralympians trio of Tajudeen Agunbiade, Nosiru Sule and Ahmed Koleosho, as well as six others to partake in the games.
The team will be competing with players from other countries such as Egypt, Algeria, Cote d’Ivoire, and Tunisia and they all with be aiming to secure their places at the Paralympic Games.
For three days, the players will compete in 10 classes with all eyes on Nigeria, Egypt and South Africa, who are top contenders in Africa.
Meanwhile, the President of African Table Tennis Federation (ATTF), Khaled El-Salhy, said the tournament is a means for African players to enmass points while increasing their ranking and ensuring qualification for the Paralympics in Tokyo.
“The tournament is very important for African players to get an event with factor 50 (F50) to raise their ranking points compared with the other available events far away in other continents with (F20) or maximum (F40), taking into consideration that ranking points is very important to lead for qualification to Paralympics Games and World Title Events.
“This is the first African PTT in four years, as we had the same event in Agadir, Morocco, in 2015 (which was also qualification for Rio 2016), thus all African PTT players are so keen to take part this year with the F50 event and a good chance for direct qualification to the Paralympics Games,” he said.
By Uche Dozie