By Olalekan Okusan
Nigeria’s Olufunke Oshonaike has drawn United States’ Juan Liu in the preliminary round of women’s singles of the table tennis event of Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
Oshonaike is making record as the first female table tennis player in the world and the first women athlete in Africa to compete in seven Olympic Games after her debut at the Atlanta 1996 in the United States.
However, Oshonaike compatriot Offiong Eden got a bye to the first round of the women’s singles where she will face Hungary’s Dora Madarasz.
In the men’s singles, Olajide Omotayo also got a bye to the first round where he is expected to face Portugal’s Apolonia Tiago. As one of the seeded players, Quadri Aruna will begin his campaign from the third round (round of 32) where his opponent will emerge from the second round.
Egypt’s Omar Assar will also start his campaign from second alongside Senegal’s Ibrahima Diaw as well as Egyptian veteran Ahmed Saleh.
Like Assar, six-time African women champion Dina Meshref of Egypt will start her campaign from the second round while her compatriot Yousra Helmy will start from the first round.
The table tennis event starts tomorrow with team event while the doubles and singles will start next week.