LAGOS – Some table tennis players to represent the country at the forthcoming Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland, have expressed readiness to make the country proud.
The players, who spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) at their camp in Lagos on Tuesday, however, urged more government commitment to their preparation. The Commonwealth Games will hold from July 23 to Aug. 3.
Portugal-based Quadri Aruna said that the players were in high spirit and ready to challenge their opponents.
He said that the Table Tennis Federation was complementing the efforts of the National Sports Commission (NSC) in the preparation.
”It dampens my spirit when I see the level of attention and commitment the government gives to football.
”In Nigeria, priority is given to football at the detriment of other sports; that is not good for sports development,” Aruna said.
The player, who is to represent Africa at the Table Tennis World Cup in Argentina, said that Team Nigeria was prepared to surpass its performance at the last Commonwealth Games in Delhi.
”In Delhi, we did not win any medal; we lost out at the semi -finals stage in all the events.
”This is my third appearance at the Games and I am determined to win a medal,” Aruna said.
Onaolapo Ojo, the winner of the U-21 World Tour, said that this year would be his first appearance, adding that he was determined to succeed.
Ojo said that he had been training rigorously and preparing himself for the task ahead. ”Commonwealth Games is not a child’s play; everyone here is for a serious business.
”Everyone is coming to Scotland to win a medal and write his name in history, and I am determined to make myself and the country proud,” he told NAN. Ganiat Ogundele, who featured in two previous Commonwealth Games, said that she was going to Scotland with the mind to win a medal.
”I have been dedicated to my training toward a good outing. I am determined to be victorious at the competition this time around.
”In Delhi, I lost out in the quarter-finals; I have learnt my mistakes and worked on them.
”My aim is to play at the final and get a medal,” she said.
Kehinde Oladele, who would be making her first appearance at Commonwealth Games, told NAN that he had prepared well to make his mark. Oladele said that winning a medal for the country would be his utmost target. “ With God on my side, my skills will pave way for me.
”I am more than prepared for the Games and I know I have what it takes to do well in Scotland,” he said.
Ten players are in camp in Lagos, consisting five males and five females. Nigeria will take part in seven events in table tennis.
Team Nigeria is scheduled to leave for Scotland on July 17. (NAN)