After tasting their first defeat against Nigeria in the boys’ team event of the 2019 ITTF African Junior and Cadet Championships, Tunisia’s captain, Aboubaker Bourass had admitted that Nigeria remains the only dangerous team in the competition.
Despite giving his team a 1-0 lead after beating Augustine Emmanuel 3-1, Tunisia succumbed to the superiority of the young Nigerians with Azeez Solanke and Abayomi Animashaun recoding an emphatic win over Youssef Ben Attia and Louay Hamrouni to give Nigeria a 3-1 win in their first group match.
But a disappointed Bourass told Sportinglife.ng that he was not surprised by the fighting spirit cum skills of the Nigerians as they are a complete team.
“I think I started making mistakes when I played against Solanke and this really affected me to lose the match. We had thought we can give them a run for their money but it was not what we planned for before the encounter,” he said.
“There is no doubt that Nigeria is a very strong team at every level because we are aware of their quality. But we cannot give up yet for the team event as we are still going to continue to work hard to ensure we make it to the final and secure our places in Thailand venue of the 2019 World Junior Championships later this year,” the 17-year-old said.
Nigeria has been drawn in Group Two alongside Tunisia, Ghana and Congo DRC with winners advancing to the semifinal stage of the competition. Finalists in the event are expected to secure their places at the WJC in Thailand come December 2019.