Table Tennis: We`re pleased with Nigeria’s performance, Tikon says

By Ijeoma Okigbo

Ishaku Tikon, president, Nigeria Table Tennis Federation (NTTF), says the federation is satisfied with Nigerian contingent performance at the ongoing World Table Tennis Championships finals in South Africa.

Tikon, who spoke to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) from Durban via telephone on Friday, said the federation was pleased with their performance.

“We have done great. The tournament is explosive and the atmosphere here is electrifying.

“This is the finals of the world championship and it is no joke. There’s a lot of exposure, experience and talents witnessed here.

“Compared to other countries, I think we have done well and I salute all the players.

“We just have to keep working hard, continue to improve the game at the grassroots which is our priority.

“It’s also great to see some of our young talents do well and go far in competitions like this.

“It shows that there’s no vacuum in the sport in the country and we have capable talents to replace our tiring hands,” Tikon added.

The president also lauded the South African Government and the South African Table Tennis Board (SATTB) for a well organised event.

NAN report that eight Nigerians took part in the event at the International Conference Center, Durban which began on Saturday.

All participants, four male and four female, crashed out before reaching the tournament’s Round of 16.

Nigeria’s best performer, 18-year-old Taiwo Mati reached Round of 32 but lost all four sets to North Korea’s Jang Woojin and failed to advance.

Mati was making a debut appearance at the World Championships.

Africa’s highest-ranked player and Nigeria’s hope for a podium finish, Quadri Aruna, was knocked out by Spanish Alvaro Robles in the round of 64.

NAN reports that the event which returned to African soil for the first time in 84 years will end on Sunday.


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