Dream comes true for Nigerian team in Egypt

Prior to his departure from Nigeria, Abayomi Animasahun was telling anyone who cares to listen that his trip to Egypt will fetch him laurel. And true to his big dream, the young Nigerian making his international debut fulfilled his ambition by claiming one of the Nigeria’s four gold medals in the mini-cadet boys’ singles.

Also, Amadi Omeh, who was excellent in his first international outing, added a gold medal to Nigeria’s medal haul in the cadet boys’ singles.

The star player in the Nigerian team, Esther Oribamise was also a medal winner as she claimed the girls’ cadet singles title while she also partnered Tunisia’s Fadwa Garci to claim gold in the cadet girls’ doubles.

An elated Oribamise said she was hopeless when she failed to do well in the junior girls having lost out in the team, doubles and singles but her hope was not dashed in the cadet as she was full of happiness during the medal presentations.

“I did not believe I could salvage anything in this competition because I was hopeless after a poor showing in the junior girls’ events. I did not also believe that it will end up in my favour in the cadet event. I thank God for my medals because it is through Him I was able to achieve this. I tried all through the competition to give a good account of myself because many people were looking out for me,” she said.

Amadi Omeh, who was never considered a potential medalist but a determined Omeh said he never doubted his ability during the competition.

“I was determined to go back to Nigeria with at least a medal but I am happy I got two with a bronze in the junior boys’ team as well as a gold medal in the cadet boys’ singles. It was not an easy task been my first time at an International tournament, ”he admitted.

Like his compatriot, Abayomi Animasahun remained grateful to God for making it possible for him to fulfill his pre-tournament boast.

I give God all the glory for been able to achieve this in my first international appearance. I listened to my coaches and I ensured I followed them and this is one of the reasons I was able to win medal in Egypt. I am so happy for this medal. It was not easy at all during the five-day tournament. The competition gets much difficult as it progresses from one level to another, but I am happy that I achieved something,” he said.

For President of Nigeria Table Tennis Federation (NTTF), Wahid Oshodi, the performance of the 10-man team was encouraging despite the fact that majority of them were making their debut in an international tournament.

“It is a very encouraging performance by the team. First time out for most of the players and they did us proud. We know we still have a lot of work to do but with the results here I know we are on the right track. The coaches did a great job. To come away with four gold and three bronze in the midst of a very strong Egyptian team and all the other more experienced countries here goes to confirm the abundance of talent in Nigeria. Again Esther Oribamise took a starring role along with Abayomi Animasahun. Amadi Omeh, our national junior champion came in here very raw but his performance to take the cadet title was astounding.

“We were quite unlucky in the junior boys and girls events but I am assured that the future of Nigerian Table Tennis is in capable young hands but we must continue to work hard and especially seek the necessary funds to help us in developing the amazing talent we have. I am so proud of this team. Now we go back home work hard and get ready for the Cadet U-21 Senior and Para Table Tennis Championships in the summer,” he said.