Team Nigeria has finally secured a place among the 16 men’s teams that will compete in the table tennis event of Rio 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil.
This development was confirmed based on the May Ranking released by the world table tennis ruling body, International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) yesterday with Nigeria’s men being the highest rated team from Africa to beat Egypt to the sole slot.
According to the qualification format, the May 2016 Olympic Team Ranking list is taken into consideration for the team selections at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
And from the rating released for May 2016, Nigeria may have dropped to 27 in the world based on the inactiveness of its players but the team was ahead of Egypt who was ranked 32.
Despite dropping from 26 to 27 with 202 points, the West African giant beat Egypt, which has 192 to the sole slot for the continent.
With this, Nigeria will represent Africa in the men’s team event of the Rio Olympic Games and will compete for medals with 15 other teams from the globe.
However, Egypt beat Nigeria to the sole slot in the women’s team event as the best rated team from the continent occupying 31st place in the world with Nigeria rated 39th.
For the second time, Egypt has edged out Nigeria from the women team event of the Olympics after their maiden appearance in the team event of the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Meanwhile, the President of Africa Table Tennis Federation (ATTF), Khaled El-Salhy, who confirmed this development however said that ITTF would officially announce the list of qualified teams in few days.
ITTF has not announced the list of qualified teams yet but I believe that it should be done within the coming 48 hours.
According to the Olympic Games qualification rules for the team events, each continent is entitled to at least one entry for team event. For Africa Men’s Team : it will be Nigeria as per position (27) compared with the other African teams, Egypt (32) & Congo Brazzaville (35), while for the Women’s Team : it will be Egypt as per position (31) compared with the other Africa teams, Nigeria (39) & Algeria (66).”
He added: “This is my expectation, and I wish on behalf of ATTF the best of luck for both teams of Nigeria & Egypt to be the perfect ambassadors for our continent in Rio Olympic Games and to qualify for the top eight teams (quarter-finalists).