With the defeat at the 2015 African Games still fresh in the memory of the Egyptian team, everything will be at stake today, Wednesday, October 26, 2016 when both teams clash in the final of the men’s team event of the ITTF Africa Senior Championship.
To berth in the final, Egypt walloped Congo Brazzaville 3-0 while Nigeria inflicted same defeat on Algeria.
For Nigeria captain, Segun Toriola, the final promises to be exciting. “I think it is going to be a 50-50 match because they (Egypt) are nervous having seen what Aruna Quadri did at the Rio Olympic Games. With the present form of Aruna because he has been playing with a lot of confidence and this is very important. We are ready for them because it promises to be an exciting match. I could notice that they have started fidgeting by asking whether Bode Abiodun will join the team in the final. They knew the quality of Bode Abiodun and I believe we will try our best to show our superiority over them in the final,” the most decorated table tennis star in Africa said.
However, Omar Assar of Egypt believes they would use the encounter to correct their mistakes at the 2015 African Games. “We knew from the start of the competition that we will meet Nigeria in the final and so we have prepared well for them.
The Nigerian team is a very strong side with the presence of Segun Toriola and Aruna Quadri who are both playing very well lately. We have learnt from our mistakes at the 2015 African Games when we were leading 2-1 to lose 3-2. The Nigerian side never gives up and they always fight till the end. I also trust my teammates because they are all in good shape and our philosophy is that we all fight for the team and this is what we are taking into the final against Nigeria,” he boasted.