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Nigeria, Egypt meet China in today’s opening games

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Home-based Azeez Solanke is a member of Team Nigeria to Tokyo.<br />

African representatives at the 2019 ITTF Team World Cup, Nigeria, and Egypt, have been given a tough draw in the competition. The African champions will battle World and Olympic Champions, China, in the first round of the competition holding at Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium.

Tokyo, which recently hosted the 2019 Rugby World Cup, and will stage next year’s Olympic Games, is very much at the centre of the sporting world right now. The anticipation and excitement that come with staging the globe’s most prestigious sports event of all are certainly not shifting away from these shores.

Before Tokyo 2020 is duly paraded across the nation next summer, the 2019 ITTF Team World Cup is a very important test event, which is slated to hold from today to November 10.

12 of the strongest national associations, in each of the men’s and women’s competitions, are battling for glory at the stage, which will also be the venue for next year’s big event and a dress rehearsal for Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

The roadmap for the first two days of the Team World Cup was confirmed yesterday at the draw, which split the teams into groups of three, with the top two positions of each group proceeding to the knockout rounds.

African men champions, Nigeria will play the opening match in Group A against China today, while their second group match will be against Chinese Taipei tomorrow.

Aruna Quadri will lead the Nigerian team, which also includes Olajide Omotayo, Bode Abiodun, Segun Toriola and home-based Azeez Solanke.

Like Nigeria, Egypt will also begin their campaign in Group A against China, while their second match will be against Ukraine.

As the first and second seeds in both men’s and women’s competitions, China and Japan are the favourites to meet in Sunday’s finals.

Their strongest challengers among the men’s teams are Germany (third) and Korea Republic (fourth), while Chinese Taipei (third) and Hong Kong, China (fourth) are the other top seeds in the women’s team groups.


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