Nigeria, others battle for places in Thailand showpiece

The heat is on, even if we had only seen Day One actions at these ITTF African Junior and Cadet Championships, National Daily learnt.

There are 19 teams but only two countries in the boys and girls events will berth in the finals of the 2019 ITTF World Junior Championships holding in Thailand next December.

This knowledge of limited space or slots to the global showpiece is apparently spurring the players to action here in Accra, Ghana as top seeds – Egypt, Nigeria, Tunisia and Algeria – intensity their efforts to secure places on the plane to Thailand.

Expectedly, Egypt, Nigeria and Algeria recorded victories in their maiden matches. However, Tunisia was unlucky to have lost to Nigeria 1-3. Nevertheless, the Tunisians are still in contention for places in the last four as they recovered from the 1-3 loss to Nigeria to beat Congo DRC 3-1, putting themselves in vantage position to qualify for the knockout stage.

In other matches, Egypt beat Sierra Leone and South Africa 3-0. Host country Ghana also fell 3-0 to Nigeria.

In today’s match-up, South Africa will take on Sierra Leone; Tunisia battles Ghana, Nigeria slugs it out with Congo DRC and Libya will clash with Togo in the boys’ event.

On the evidence of Day 1 combats, the individual events promise to be exciting as players and teams appear to be in top form. Already many fans here are looking forward to epic battles, with some ready to wager on the proposition that other countries will pose a serious challenge to Egypt’s dominance in