ITTF appoints Oladapo as Euro-Africa coordinator
THEIR below par outing at the just concluded 2012 Germany World Team Table Tennis Championship notwithstanding, the Segun Toriola-captained Nigerian team retained its position in the top divisions at the tourney, where such stars as Toriola, Aruna Quadri, Funke Oshonaike and Edem Offiong also picked tickets for the London 2012 Olympics.
The women team placed 42nd in the competition, three places behind Egypt in 39th, but the team led by Oshonaike still retained its status in division two of the tourney. The Nigerian male team, which finished 32nd after losing 0-3 to Italy in the classification match, also retained its position in division two. Egypt was 30th.
One sad tale coming from the event is that, for the first time in the history of the Olympic, Egypt is going to London as Africa’s representative in the team events, as its male and women teams have been confirmed by the Africa Table Tennis Federation (ATTF) as the continent’s flag bearers at this year’s Olympics.
While congratulating Nigeria, Egypt and Congo Brazzaville for retaining their division two status despite stiff opposition from the European teams, ATTF boss, Khaled El-Salhy, noted that this would be the first time Egypt would be taking part in the team event of the Olympics, as Nigeria had been representing the continent before.
Toriola will be making his sixth appearance at this edition of the Games and Oshonaike, her fifth, while Quadri will be making his debut.
Meanwhile, in recognition of his contribution to table tennis, the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) has appointed Nigerian Olabanji Oladapo as coordinator for the maiden Africa/Europe Circuit holding in Cairo, Egypt, later this month.
According to ITTF, Oladapo, who is the executive vice president and member of the ITTF board of directors (BOD), will oversee the organisation of the championship in Egypt and Morocco this year. The Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC) former scribe will have to ensure the smooth staging of the championship in April and in July.
Among other things, Oladapo must ensure adherence to the rules of the game, while the competition’s managers are expected to report to him. The contract guiding the broadcast right must be fully implemented as well at the championship.
Aside Egypt and Morocco, which will host the tourney, countries like Belarus, Croatia, Sweden and Belgium are expected to host the European legs of the competition this year as well.