Seven-time Olympian, Funke Oshonaike partnered Fatimo Bello to claim gold medal for Nigeria in the women’s doubles event at the 2023 ITTF Africa Championship on Saturday.
Their feat made them the first Nigerians to win a gold medal at the ongoing tournament in Tunis, Tunisia.
The ITTF Africa Championship serves a qualifying tournament for the 2024 Paris Olympics, but the Egyptians dominated all the events, carting away multiple Olympic spots.
Seven-time Olympian and African legend Oshonaike came out of retirement to participate in the women’s doubles alongside Bello. The pair were up against Cameroonian player Sarah Hanffou and her teammate, Egypt’s Marwa Alhodaby, in the final. The event was not one with open qualification for the Olympics, and both teams only had the gold medal to play for.
In the semi-finals, Nigeria defeated Mauritius duo, Oumehani Hosenally and Nandeshwaree Jalim 3-0 (11-6, 11-7, 11-7).
Meanwhile, World number 18 Quadri Aruna and 2019 African Games champion, Olajide Omotayo have progressed into the men’s singles semi-finals of the ITTF Africa.
In another development, Saheed Idowu of Congo has booked a spot in the semi-finals in the men’s singles of the championship for the first time since 2018.
After defeating the likes of Mati Taiwo and Jonathan Native in the rounds, the Congolese advanced to the semi-finals due to his opponent Omar Assar’s withdrawal from their quarterfinal match.