Nigeria will from September 11 to 18 battle with Egypt, Zambia, Benin Republic, Morocco, Libya, South Africa, Algeria, Cote d’Ivoire and hosts, Tunisia, at the 2023 African Table Tennis Championships, which will also serve as qualifiers for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.
According to the African Table Tennis Federation (ATTF), billed to play in the women’s event are Nigeria, Egypt, Tunisia, South Africa, Zambia, Uganda, Algeria, Mauritius, and Benin Republic.
In the last two Olympic Games in Brazil and Japan, Nigeria and Egypt picked the continent’s tickets in the men’s event, but Egypt has been dominating the women’s event as the only African nation in the team event of the Olympic Games in the last three editions in London 2012, Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020.
The battle for the continent’s sole slot in the mixed doubles event will feature Nigeria, Egypt and South Africa, with the winner to represent Africa in France.
According to ATTF President, Khaled El-Salhy, this year’s African Championships will also be used as qualification for the 2024 World Championships in Busan, Korea.
“ATTF is ready for the coming African Championships as the major event in 2023, and this year it will be counted, not only as qualification for 2024 WTTC in Busan, Korea, but also a qualification for 2024 Paris Olympic Games (Team events & Mixed Doubles).
“It is qualification for both 2024 WTTC & 2024 Paris Olympic Games (Teams/XD), but we have new challenges in our African Championship due to the emergence of new top players, who showed their quality at the 2023 ITTF-Africa Cup in Kenya and African Youth Championships in Morocco.
“Players from Madagascar and Algeria will not pushovers in Tunisia, as they are professional players plying their trade in France and they decided to play for their native countries for the first time in African events this year with super results. I see there will be a big challenge for the traditional top teams like Egypt, Nigeria and Tunisia for the qualification events as well as dominating the podium in Tunis,” the ATTF boss said.
The winners in the men and women’s team events will automatically secure their places at the Olympic Games in France, while the winner in the mixed doubles event will be Paris-bound in 2024.