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Olufunke Oshonaike Is the New African Women’s Singles Table Tennis Champion

On Sunday, Nigeria’s Olufunke Oshonaike claimed the African Women’s Singles Table Tennis title at the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) African Championships, held in Agadir, Morocco.

Oshonaike took the gold medal after overcoming Egypt’s Dina Meshref 4-2 in a hard-fought final game. The 42-year-old veteran’s victory on the African stage is her second in 16 years; it comes as a much-needed boost to her career, following a disappointing outing at the Rio Olympics earlier in the year, where she had been ousted in the first round.

“This victory means a lot to me, that I can still become African champion despite my age”, Oshonaike said after her win. “It shows that nothing is impossible regardless of age if you put your mind to it”.

The women’s singles title won by Oshonaike was Nigeria’s second triumph at the championships. Earlier, the duo of Aruna Quadri and Segun Toriola saw off a challenge from the Egyptian pair of El-Sayed Lashun and Ahmed Saleh in the final of the men’s double to clinch Nigeria’s first gold. Their win ensured that Nigeria held on to the title it won last year when Quadri had teamed up with Kazeem Makanjuola.

Nigeria also won three silver medals; Aruna Quadri’s quest to add a third gold to Nigeria’s medal tally for the championship fell through despite putting up a spirited performance when he went up against Egyptian Omar Assar in the men’s singles final earlier today.

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Ikenna Nwachukwu holds a bachelor's degree in Economics from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He loves to look at the world through multiple lenses- economic, political, religious and philosophical- and to write about what he observes in a witty, yet reflective style.

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