Team Nigeria begins campaigns at ITTF African Junior Championship in Egypt

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The eight-man team of Nigeria will on Monday begins its quest for glory in the team event of the 2014 International
Table Tennis Federation (ITTF)-sanctioned African Junior Championship holding in Cairo, Egypt.

The team led by national coach, Nosiru Bello and assisted by Dotun Omoniyi will compete against seeded teams like Egypt, Tunisia and Algeria.

In the team event draw held at the Le Meridien Hotel in Cairo, Nigeria’s male team has been pitched against host – Egypt, Congo Brazzaville, Djibouti and Congo DRC in Group One while Tunisia, Algeria, Angola Cote d’Ivoire and South Africa are in Group Two.

In the female draw, Nigeria will tackle Egypt, South Africa, Angola in Group One while Algeria, Tunisia, Congo Brazzaville and Congo DRC are in group Two.

Kazeem Makanjuola 1In the cadet team event draw, Nigeria’s male team will battle Egypt, Tunisia and Algeria in Group One while group Two consists of Congo Brazzaville, Angola, South Africa and Djibouti.

For the girls’ draw, Nigeria will tackle Tunisia, Angola and Congo DRC in Group Two while Egypt has to confront Congo Brazzaville South Africa and Angola in Group one.

The top two teams in each group is expected to qualify for the semifinal stage of the event.

The Nigeria male team is made up of Olasunkanmi Oginni, Babafemi Babatunde, Joseph Osedunkwu and Sunday Akomolafe, while the female team has Tosin Esther Oribamise, Agnes Onoja, Ajoke Ojomu and Halimot Ayinla.

Meanwhile, Egypt’s quartet of Aly Ghallab, Mahmoud Fathy, Ahmed Mabrouk and Ahmed Dabous are the top seeded players in the Championships

Ahmed Dabous currently stands in second place behind Algeria’s Yaniss Douifi, with Tunisia’s Kerem Ben Yahia in third spot. Mahmoud Fathy is in fourth position with Aly Ghallab in sixth spot. Sandwiched in between is Congo Brazzaville’s Gracce Babekidio in fifth spot.

The ranking produced by the African Table Tennis Federation (ATTF) is a combination of the current ITTF World Rankings combined with the results gained at the immediate previous African Junior Championships.

Tunisia represented by Kerem Ben Yahia, Nadim Ben Mekki, Chouab Lagha and Salim Hassine occupy the second seeded position in the Junior Boys’ Team event with Algeria and Congo Brazzaville being the third and fourth seeds.

Algeria is represented Yaniss Douifi, Salim Amokrane, Arslane Beldjelali and Abderrahmane Alioua; whilst for Congo Brazzaville the squad is formed by Christ Bientaki, Michel Lignandzi, Grace Babekidio and Doukoure Mbema.

All four leading teams field players who have tasted international at events organised by the ITTF Global Junior Programme.

Aly Ghallab, Yaniss Douifi, Kerem Ben Yahia and Christ Bientaki formed Team Africa at the ITTF Cadet Challenge staged in Puerto Rico in January 2012; meanwhile later in the year Aly Ghallab was on duty when the tournament was staged in Guam and in January 2013 at the ITTF Junior Circuit Finals in Guatemala.

In the Cadet Boys’ Team event, Egypt also fields the top seeded outfit. Karim Elhakim and Youssef Abdel-Aziz are the players in question.

Congo Brazzaville with Michel Lignandzi and Regis Kiassi on duty are the second seeds being followed by Angola’s Sebastiao Lemos and Alessio Antonio. Babatunde Babafemi and Sunday Akomolafe of Nigeria occupy the fourth seeded place.

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