The International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) has confirmed Nigeria and 99 others for the World Championships in the Chinese city of Suzhou, China, scheduled to serve off on April 26 to May 3.
Three African players have been listed seeded for the tournament with Nigeria’s Aruna Quadri topping the list in number thirty. Also seeded from Africa in the men’s singles is Egypt’s Omar Assar ranked 32 for the tournament while the only female player in Africa seeded is Egypt’s Dina Meshref listed in number 62 for the tournament.
In the list of Nigerian players confirmed for the championship, Quadri will be joined in the men’s singles by Segun Toriola, Ojo Onaolapo and Kazeem Makanjuola, while in the women’s team, Edem Offiong, Janet Effiom and Germany-based Funke Oshonaike.
According to the world table tennis ruling body, the seeding is based on the World Ranking lists released on Wednesday April 1.
China’s Ma Long heads the Men’s Singles order of merit, followed by his three compatriots Xu Xin, Zhang Jike, and Fan Zhendong. The third on the list but if one player enjoys the big stage it is Zhang Jike, the Men’s Singles winner in Rotterdam in 2011 and two years ago in Paris.
Both Ma Long and Xu Xin have occupied the top spot on the Men’s World Rankings during the past year and more but in a World Championships Men’s Singles event, they have to rise to the levels of which they are undoubtedly capable.
The third seeded position in the Men’s Singles seeding for the reigning champion; it is the same in the Women’s Singles event for China’s Li Xiaoxia, the winner two years ago in Paris. She is named behind compatriots Ding Ning, the champion in Rotterdam in 2011 and Liu Shiwen, the player Li Xiaoxia beat two years ago in the Paris final.
For the doubles event, the draw involving the top 16 seeds will take place on Saturday, April 25 at the Suzhou Cultural and Art Center.
A total of 310 men and 238 women players will compete at the eight-day event with capacity crowd anticipated. (Channelstv)
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