The trio of Segun Toriola, Aruna Quadri and Ojo Onaolapo on Friday improved Nigeria’s chance of gaining promotion to the elite division in the world after beating Turkey in the knockout match of division two in the ongoing 2014 World Team Table Tennis Championship holding in Tokyo, Japan.
Having finished second in Group E behind Czech Republic, Nigeria was set up against Turkey, who are rated higher. However, the team raised their game against the Turkish side with Toriola bashing Vang Bora 7-11, 11-6, 9-11, 9-11 while rave of the moment, Quadri continued in his usual style to overwhelm Ibrahim Gundu 11-7, 11-3, 11-4.
Southpaw Onaolapo completed the rout with a hard fought 11-7, 11-8, 6-11, 5-11, 6-11 win over Gencay Menge. The match ended 3-0 against the European side.
An elated Quadri said he was satisfied with his performance so far in the tournament, while he looks forward to making it to the last four of the group.
“It was not easy since the competition started especially getting used to time zone in Japan. But we are getting better with each match.
The guidance of Toriola has been very helpful and we are sure that we can make it to the last four,” he said.
On Saturday, Nigeria will battle their Commonwealth rival, England in the men’s division two quarterfinal encounter to decide the eventual teams that will gain promotion to the championship division in 2016.
Also on Friday, Egypt overcame India 3-0 to set up a quarterfinal clash against Czech Republic.
Other quarterfinal pairing will see Italy versus Slovenia while Iran will tackle Slovakia.
Meanwhile the Nigerian female team ascertained their chance of avoiding relegation after beating Peru 3-0 to set-up a rematch against Turkey on Saturday.