Oshonaike blames slippery floor, old table for defeat at sports festival
Nigeria’s women’s table tennis legend, Funke Oshonaike, has showered praises on Nimota Aregbesola, who sent her packing in the women’s singles quarterfinals at the on-going 19th National Sports Festival, Abuja 2018.
Aregbesola, who features for Lagos State, defeated Oshonaike 4-3 in the women’s quarterfinals in the singles event on Monday.
Speaking with The Guardian, Oshonaike, a Commonwealth and African table tennis star, who represented Akwa Ibom State at the Abuja 2018, praised Aregbesola, saying that the young ping ponger played well during their encounter.
“I have to give kudos to the young lady that beat me (Aregbesola). She really played well and I am happy,” Oshonaike stated.
Explaining her performance in the semifinal match, Oshonaike stated that she had little or no time to rest after playing her mixed double match in which she paired Segun Toriola against Oyo State pair of Taofeek Maya and Funmi Ajala.
“I only slept for four hours after I lost in the mixed doubles on Sunday.
“Then I started playing by 10am in morning (Monday). I was called 30 minutes after to the table to play the quarterfinal game”, Funke Oshonaike said.
She stated that she was not no longer in her youthful days saying: “Mama is getting old. So, I could not play my game till the end.
“I did not put in my best and I didn’t play my game and the situation is very wrong for me and dark for me as well,” she declared.
She, however, complained about the tables used for the table tennis event, saying that they are too old, while the floor is slippery.
“The tables are too old, the floor is too slippery. Every time I sinned up, I could not even carry myself but it’s still okay. I lost,” she said.
Speaking further, Oshonaike said she decided to pitch tent with the Akwa Ibom state because it cares for her.
“I did not fly to Akwa Ibom just like that. The state cares and requested for me.
“If Lagos state had approached me, I would have accepted even without any condition. I’ve been representing Lagos since I came to the limelight,” she said.
But the Lagos state Sports Commission officials were grumbling that the star she had nurtured has abandoned her for higher bidder.