Nigeria, Egypt Berth In Quarterfinal Of ITTF World Team Championship

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Segun Toriola
Segun Toriola

Africa’s standard bearers in the ongoing ITTF World Team Championship, Nigeria and Egypt, have affirmed their readiness to gain promotion to the Championship Division after both teams secured their places in the quarterfinal stage of the men’s division two.
Nigeria completed their unbeaten run in Group F with a 3-0 rout of Vietnam to make it five wins in five matches while Egypt was made to work hard for their last group victory against Hungary. But at last it was the North African that prevailed over the European 3-1 to record their fifth victories in Group G.
To top Group F, Nigeria defeated Turkey, Switzerland, India, Slovakia and Vietnam while Egypt overcame Mexico, Norway, Argentina, Slovenia and Hungary.
For Nigeria, this is the first time the West African giant will be unbeaten in all their matches.
Segun Toriola narrowly missed out from the qualification in 2014 in Japan after losing to England in the quarterfinal stage of the championship.
Nigeria and Egypt will now battle with other qualified teams for places in the last four of the championship.
Speaking after the victory over Hungary, Egypt’s Mohammed El-Beiali said: “I am so happy that we won and I must thank God for this victory. I think we have achieved one of our targets, which was to qualify as the best team from the group. Now our next target is to make it to the Championship Division. I think we the way we have been playing in this competition, I feel safe with the team because of the unity and understanding among us. It was not easy in this group but with the unity in the team coupled with determination we are getting closer to our dream of making it to the elite division.”
For Hungary’s Jakab Janos said, “I think we rely on Daniel Kosiba to handle Omar Assar unfortunately he sustained an ankle injury which really affected him during the match. I had the chance to overcome Mohammed El-Beiali because our game was balance while our chance was also equal to win. But I lost narrowly. I really pitied Daniel because of the injury. I am not satisfied with my performance because I undermined Mohammed El-Beiali in the match. Omar Assar is really a top ranked player and he played very well. Now that Daniel has injury and we finish third in the group I think we will have to rely on the junior players to carry on and ensure we remain in this division. Our target here is to get Olympics points so that we can make it to Rio 2016 in Brazil. I hope and believe we still have the chance to pick Olympics points from this competition.”

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