Egypt, Nigeria and host – Tunisia all sealed their slots at the 2018 Youth Olympic Games (YOG) holding in Argentina.

Egypt’s duo of Youssef Abdel-Aziz and Marwa Alhodaby sealed slots in the boys and girls event while Nigeria’s Tosin Esther Oribamise and Tunisia’s Nathael Hamdoun secured the remaining two slots in the girls and boys event respectively.

To ascertain their slots in YOG, Abdel-Aziz walloped Algeria’s Abdelbasset 4-0, while Alhodaby repeated same result against Tunisia’s Garci Fadwa in the semifinal round of the ITTF African Youth Olympic Qualifying Tournament.

Oribamise, who had earlier been tested by Tunisia’s Fadwa in the last group match had an easy 4-0 win over Morocco’s Ines Outolla, while homeboy and Tunisia’s only hope, Hamdoun mesmerised Nigeria’s Azeez Solanke in the semifinal with a 4-0 win to seal the only slot for Tunisia.

With this, the four players – Abdel-Aziz, Alhodaby, Oribamise and Hamdoun will represent Africa in the table tennis event of YOG in Argentina come 2018.

According to the President, ITTF Africa, Khaled El-Salhy, the four players are indeed the best from the continent considering the qualities they displayed at the qualifiers.

“I am satisfied with the qualities of play from all the players that took part in the qualifiers and those that emerged were indeed the best from the qualifiers. I just need to appeal to national associations to ensure that these four players prepare very well for the games because I could recall at the maiden edition of the game in Singapore, Africa represented by Tunisia’s Adam Hmem partnered with a Chinese player to win bronze in the mixed doubles event and it will be good if Africa can also do well next year in Argentina,” El-Salhy said.

He however, said there are possibilities that Africa applied for wildcards which he said can only be awarded to countries with less number of participants in the games. “We hope to apply for wildcards because at the 2014 edition in China, we had four wildcards for Togo, Congo Brazzaville and others making African having eight players competing. But we hope we can apply again but this will only be given to countries with less number of participants in the games and not to top countries,” the ITTF Africa boss added.

Also, Egypt’s Abdel-Aziz and Nigeria’s Tosin Esther Oribamise have emerged champions in the boys and girls event of the qualifiers held in Tunis. Abdel-Aziz beat Tunisia’s Hamdoun 4-2 while Oribamise defeated Egypt’s Alhodaby 4-3 for the girls’ title.