Wednesday, March 6, 2024

Nigeria wins first medal at African Games

Table tennis player Offiong Edem Tuesday secured a bronze medal in the women’s singles event at the 13th African Games in Accra, Ghana.

Her effort marks the first medal for Nigeria across the 25 sports disciplines in the competition.

Edem, a star player based in Spain, delivered impressive performances in the knockout stages.

She defeated Egyptian twins Marwa and Mariam Alhodaby in the round of 16 and quarterfinals, solidifying her place among the medal contenders.

However, her journey ended in the semifinals against the defending champion, Dina Meshref of Egypt.

Meshref displayed her dominance, defeating Edem with a decisive 4-0 score

Despite the setback, Edem secured a well-deserved bronze medal, equaling her achievement at the 2019 African Games in Rabat, Morocco.

Delighted and grateful

Reflecting on her performance, Edem expressed her gratitude for the support she received:

“I am so happy that we were able to attend the last World Championships in Korea and this really helped my game a lot. I want to thank the Nigeria Table Tennis Federation (NTTF) for their support and I believe attending such a competition really helped me personally here in Ghana.’’ Edem was quoted as saying on Sports Africana.

Edem also acknowledged the formidable presence of Egyptian players, attributing their success to their frequent participation in international competitions.

“The Egyptians are ahead because they compete more often than us,” she stated. “We hope to receive similar support to regain our top position in African table tennis.”

Good sign

Edem’s bronze medal serves as a positive start for Nigeria at the African Games as many expect more medals to trickle in once the Games officially start on Friday.

With a contingent of 311 athletes at the last African Games held in Rabat, Morocco in 2019, Team Nigeria finished second on the final medals table with 127 medals (46 gold, 33 silver and 48 bronze).

With a slightly bigger contingent of 358 athletes this term, Team Nigeria will be hoping for a more rewarding outing in Ghana.

By Tunde Eludini, Premium Times 

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