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How Nigeria’s Tennis Commonwealth Gold Pursuit Failed Again

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Nigerian athletes are currently competing at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in the Gold Coast, Australia. The 21st edition of the glamorous competition kicked off on the 4th of April, playing host to 71 countries competing the 19 sports.

Nigeria has competed in the prestigious competition since 1950, appearing in 13 occasion, picking up 212 medals with 61 of those medals been gold.

One of the most rated event in the competition is Table Tennis, a game that Nigerian boast some of world’s best competitors. The event has be featured in the last five edition of the games with Nigeria picking nine medal (3 Golds, 2 Silver and 4 Bronze medals). Boasting a team with Bode Abiodun, Segun Toriola, Azeez Jamiu, Olajide Omotayo and 27th ranked star in the world Aruna Quadri.

Quadri who has been absent from the competition joined the group after the 3-1 quarter finals win over tournament host Australia. They also defeated Belize 3-0 and Malaysia 3-1 respectively in their group games.

Discussing the arrival of critically acclaimed star Quadri on Sunday, captain of the side Toriola said “We’re set to go in our events with the arrival of Quadri. His presence alone will ginger us not to talk of when he joins forces with us to play.” Also speaking yesterday, Coach Bello Nosiru said “We played so well without Quadri but now that he is around, we won’t look back for our quest for gold in the Team event and the singles.”

Nonetheless, the presence of the 29-year-old superstar did little to improve the chances of the foursome. Quadri was left out of the team’s 3-2 semi final win over England on Sunday evening while he sat on the bench for the final earlier today.

The Nigeria table tennis team, where not good enough to oust India’s trio of Achanta Sharath, Sathiyan Gnanasetkaran and Harmeet Desai. They lost 3-0, with Sharath first defeating Abiodun 4-11, 5-11, 11-4 & 9-11, Gnanasetkaran beating Toriola 10-12, 11-2, 11-3 & 11-4, and the doubles team of Sharath & Desai beating Abiodun and Omotayo in straight sets of 11-9, 11-5 & 11-4.

Nigeria’s highly rated foursome in almost a decade will have to wait another four year to best their Silver medal win.

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