Bello dreams upset at 2022 ITTF World Championships
As Nigeria, Ghana set for 2023 ITTF Western Region qualifiers
Two-Time regional champion, Fatimo Bello, has said she hopes to do well at the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) World Championships holding at the Molade Okoya-Thomas Hall of Teslim Balogun Stadium, Surulere.
The African Table Tennis Federation (ATTF) awarded the regional qualification, African Club Championships, and African Cup events to Nigeria, which is fixed for Lagos between May 19 and 28.
Speaking to The Guardian yesterday, Bello, who won the female category of the three-day trials organised by the National Table Tennis Federation (NTTF), said she had been training hard for the championships even before the trial began, adding that she hopes to pull a surprise at the ITTF World Championships.
“Even before we were called for the trials by the NTTF, I had been training hard for the ITTF events. From the trials I won the Women Singles event and got picked for ITTF championship.
“I believe I am going to give my best, while hoping to spring a surprise in Lagos when the events begin. And who says I cannot win it by God’s grace because I believe there is nothing impossible in the game of table tennis,” she said.
Meanwhile, hosts, Nigeria, Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, Guinea, Mali, Burkina Faso, Benin Republic, Togo, Niger Republic and Senegal have been confirmed for the Western Region qualifiers for the 2023 ITTF World Championships taking place in Lagos from May 19 to 21.
Egypt dominated the Northern Region qualifiers held in Algeria, while Mauritius ruled at the Eastern Region qualifiers hosted by Ethiopia.
The 2022 World Championships will be the second time Africa will be hosting the ITTF World Championships, as the city of Durban in South Africa was awarded the hosting right in 2020 at the ITTF AGM in 2020.
Speaking on the championship, the Secretary General of the Western Region, Prof. Germain Karou, said the huge turnout from the teams is based on the quality of organisation coupled with the quality of players expected at the three-day tournament.
“I am so excited with the large turnout of teams for the third edition of the regional championships because for any team to be part of the world championship, such team had to participate in the regional event.
“That is why most of the teams have decided to come to Lagos State, a good city, which has become the hub of table tennis in Africa. Apart from being a good host, Nigeria is known globally as a good organiser of table tennis event in the world with the ever-supporting fans coupled with the quality of play.
“We cannot wait to start on May 19 and by 21, we will know the teams that will be qualifying from the region to the World Championships in 2023 in Durban, South Africa,” Karou said.