For their impressive display at the just concluded 2019 ITTF African Junior and Cadet Championships held in Ghana, Nigeria’s duo of Taiwo Matti and Sukurat Aiyelabegan have been selected among the eight-man African team for the 2019 ITTF World Cadet Challenge (WCC) holding in Poland in October.
Matti, who had earlier been invited by the ITTF to the 2019 High Performance Training Camp in Thailand next month emerged as champion in the cadet event while Aiyelabegan finished in third place in the girls cadet singles was also selected in the team.
Also, the African Table Tennis Federation (ATTF) has formally confirmed Nigeria and Egypt as the continent’s flagbearers at the 2019 ITTF World Junior Championships (WJC) holding in Thailand in November.
The two continent’s superpowers will compete in the boys and girls categories at the global with Nigeria making a return after two years absence from the continental qualifiers.
Nigeria and Egypt were named after emerging as the finalists in the junior boys and girls team events of the 2019 ITTF African Junior and Cadet Championships held in Accra, Ghana from April 7 to 13.
Nigeria defeated Egypt 3-0 to emerge as champion in the boys’ cadre while Egypt also repeated same result against Nigeria in the girls’ final.
For the World Cadet Challenge (WCC), the girls’ team will be led by African cadet champion – Egypt’s Hana Goda while his male counterpart – Nigeria’s Taiwo Matti will spearhead the boys’ team.
Other members of the girls’ team include Nigeria’s Aiyelabegan, Tunisia’s Maram Zoghlami and Algeria’s Melissa Belache.
Nigeria’s Taiwo Matti will be joined in the boys’ team by Tunisia’s Habib Ameur, Egypt’s Mohamed Sameh and Algeria’s Abderrahmane Azzala.
To prepare the African Team for WCC, there are plans by the continental body to organize a camp in Egypt few weeks before the competition in Poland.