As it stands, only Team Egypt will represent Africa in the Table Tennis team events of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games having picked the sole tickets.
Team Nigeria failed to make the slots after failing its maiden attempt at qualifying for the team event as both the men and women’s teams were beaten by Poland in the second round in Portugal.
Team Nigeria have therefore shifted attention to the African Olympic Qualifying Tournament billed to hold next month in Tunis, Tunisia.
The Tunisia games are the final qualifying window for African teams and players as the 54 members of the African Table Tennis Federation (ATTF), excluding Egypt, will converge from February 27 to 29 for the qualifying tournament in singles and mixed doubles events.
According to the prospectus of the tournament in Tunisia, two players each in men and women from each African Association are expected to compete in the singles while one pair from each country including Egypt will compete for the continent’s sole slot in mixed doubles event.
The top four (semifinalists) players in singles (men and women) will qualify for Tokyo 2020, while the winner in the mixed doubles event will pick the African sole slot for Tokyo 2020.
Each country cannot qualify more than two players in singles (men and women).
For the President of the Nigeria Table Tennis Federation (NTTF), Ishaku Tikon, the performance of the players in Portugal should be commended being the first time Nigeria would be making attempt at qualifying from the world event. He however, expressed confidence that Nigeria still has the chance to pick the tickets in singles and mixed doubles event in Tunisia.
Also in an effort to give teams across the globe the chance to be part of the table tennis event in Tokyo, the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) will be organising the final qualifying championship tagged World Singles Qualification Tournament holding in Doha, Qatar on May 28 to 31.