*Aruna Quadri gets bye into second round as Africa’s best player
Team Nigeria will today at the Riocentro Pavilion 3 in Rio de Janeiro know its opponents in the team and singles events of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil.
Also, as the best ranked player in Africa, Nigeria’s Aruna Quadri has gotten a bye to the second round of the men’s singles after the 2014 ITTF Star Player was listed among the top 32 players in the singles event of the Rio to start his campaign in the second round.
In the August 2016 ranking released by ITTF on Monday, Quadri remained the best player from Africa despite sliding to 40 from 38 spot of last month while his continental rival, Egypt’s Omar Assar plummeted to 55 from 41.
And for the men’s singles event of the Rio Olympic Games, Quadri is rated 27 while Assar dropped to 37.
With this development, the Egyptian will start his campaign from the first round like Nigeria’s Segun Toriola and Assar’s sibling, Khaled in the men’s singles.
In the team event, Nigeria may be drawn in same group with top teams as they are the third lowest ranked team in the men’s team event.
There are 16 teams to battle for laurels in the team event while they are to be drawn into four groups of four teams in each group.
The top two teams in each group are to advance to the quarterfinal stage.
Also Nigeria is the oldest team in the table tennis event with an average age of 35.2years.
According to ITTF, the Men’s Singles and Women’s Singles will follow a knockout (single elimination) format, consisting of a preliminary round (conditional), round one (16 matches), round two
(16 matches), round three (16 matches), round four (eight matches), quarterfinals (four matches), semifinals (two matches) and medal matches (two matches).
The entries ranked 1 to 16 will qualify directly to the third round, the entries ranked 17 to 32 to the second round and the entries ranked 33 to the total number of participants will have to qualify to the first or preliminary rounds.
In the semifinals round, the winners advance to the gold medal match, in which the gold and silver medallists will be decided. The losers compete for the bronze medal
In both Men’s and Women’s Team events there will be 16 teams entered, each team representing an NOC. A team consists of three players but a team of two players is allowed to participate in the team match if the third player is absent due to injury, illness or disqualification.
According to ITTF, If a player is not able to play a match due to injury or illness he or she will forfeit the match but he or she can participate in his or her subsequent matches of the team match.
“If a player is not able to play, the team may continue the competition with two players. If an NOC has a “P” athlete accreditation, a player can be replaced if the process of replacement is completed “P” athlete accreditation does not apply for replacing disqualified players.
Each team match consists of five individual matches and ends when one team has won a majority of the possible individual matches. Each individual match is the best of five games.
A team match consists of two singles matches followed by a doubles match, followed, if necessary, by one or two singles matches, until a team wins three matches.
“For each team match, the captain will nominate the players who will play the first two singles matches. The third player will play in the doubles match (match number 3) with either of the two players who played the first two matches, selected by the captain after the second singles match is completed. The remaining matches (if necessary) will be set in a way to ensure that each player plays a maximum of two matches according to the following system,” revealed ITTF in the format for the tournament.