A 10-man team that will represent Nigeria at the 2017 ITTF African Junior and Cadet Championships holding in Tunis has been unveiled by the Nigeria Table Tennis Federation (NTTF).
The players were selected based on several trials organised by the federation as well as their past records.
The continental championship serves as qualifiers for the World Junior Championship in Italy later in the year.
The male team will be led by Lagos state champion, Azeez Solanke. Other members of the team include Abayomi Animasahun, Amadi Umeh, Jamiu Ayanwale and Taiwo Mati.
Junior sensation, Tosin Oribamise, will head the female team which comprise of Agnes Onoja, Rafiat Jimoh, Sukurat Aiyelabegan and Iyanuoluwa Falana.
The Nigerian team is expected to compete in the team, doubles, mixed doubles and singles events of cadet, junior and under-21.
Solanke and Oribamise will also represent Nigeria in the Youth Olympic Games (YOG) qualifiers from April 16 to 17.
According to Khaled El-Salhy, president of ITTF Africa, “Africa has made it to the podium at YOG in Singapore 2010 and this time around we are hoping that we can get players and teams that will also return to the podium in 2018”.
“For the qualifiers, the players will be drawn into groups in the first round with the top two players advancing to the second round of knockout.
“The finalists in the boys and girls event will automatically qualify for YOG.
“It is open to all African associations to take part in the qualification tournament and players should be U-18 next year in Argentina,” he added.
The African championships will take place from April 9 to 15 in Tunis, Tunisia.