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Toriola to lead Nigeria’s contingent to 2024 WTTC

Segun Toriola will lead Nigeria’s contingent to the 2024 ITTF World Team Table Tennis Championships (WTTC) set to take place in Busan, South Korea, from February 16 to 25.

The Nigeria Table Tennis Federation (NTTF) disclosed that Toriola’s selection was based on his vast experience and amicable relationship with many top players in the national team.

Following the retirement of former national coach Nosiru Sule in 2023, Toriola emerged as the ideal choice for the federation to spearhead the teams to the WTTC, which doubles as a qualifier for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

Toriola’s name resonates with table tennis, having won numerous African titles and participated in seven Olympic Games, earning him widespread respect both in Africa and globally.

At the Busan 2024 WTTC, the Nigerian men’s team will face Japan, Chinese Taipei, Czech Republic, and Madagascar in Group 8, for a place in the knockout stages.

Egypt, the reigning African champions, will contend against Portugal, Romania, Iran, and Thailand in Group 8, while Algeria faces stiff competition from France, Australia, Denmark, and Austria.

In the female category, Nigeria’s team will face challenge from Germany, Slovakia, Poland, and Mexico in their group, while Egypt’s women brace themselves for battles against European powerhouses France, Czech Republic, Ukraine, and Croatia in Group 8.

The Algerian women’s team faces an uphill task against Chinese Taipei, USA, Thailand, and Chile in their group, while South Africa’s women’s squad is set to take on Japan, Brazil, Luxembourg, and Iran in Group 2 of the women’s event.

China, reigning champions of the WTTC, occupies the top-seeded positions in both the men’s and women’s team events. China’s women’s team is placed in Group 1 alongside Hungary, India, Spain, and Uzbekistan.

In the tournament format, each group will engage in a round-robin, with teams playing against each other. The top three teams from each group will progress to the knockout phase, with the top eight teams securing automatic tickets to the Paris 2024 Olympics.

The Nigerian delegation aims for an improved performance and hopes to secure Olympic tickets for both the men’s and women’s events after missing out on the continent’s sole ticket to the Games in 2023, losing in the finals of both gender categories to Egypt at the African Championships in Tunis.

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