Otu-Duke decries lack of recognition for 2017 ITTF-Africa Cup players

Chairman, Cross Rivers State Sports Commission, Orok Otu-Duke, has decried the non-recognition of the table tennis players who represented the country at the just-concluded ITTF-Africa Cup in Agadir, Morocco.

Otu-Duke, the re-elected Chairman of South-South in the Nigeria Table Tennis Federation, said that in spite of lack of support, the athletes proved their mettle at the championships.

The competition which had the likes of Aruna Quadri, Funke Oshonaike, Edem Offiong, Dina Meshref and Omar Assar of Egypt in attendance held from July 1 to July 3.

Otu-Duke said on on Wednesday that though the Ministry of Youths and Sports was notified about the competition, no support was given to the athletes who did their best at the competition.

“I paid for the trip with the support of my governor, Ben Ayade, who is a lover of sports.

“It is so sad that there was no Federal Government support in spite of the fact that the athletes represented Nigeria.

“Even if the names of the athletes will be called first, there is no way the country won’t be mentioned which is a plus,’’ he said.

Out-Duke is also the Chairman, Canaan Table Tennis Club of Cross River.

NAN reports that Quadri qualified to represent Africa alongside Egypt’s Meshref at the forthcoming ITTF Men and Women World Cups respectively at the competition.

Oshonaike lost to Meshref in the final, while Canaan Table Tennis Club of Cross Rivers won a silver in the club’s category.

NAN reports that the Liebherr 2017 ITTF Men’s World Cup is scheduled for Oct. 20 to Oct. 22 in Liege, Belgium.

The Uncle Pop 2017 ITTF Women’s World Cup is also scheduled for Oct. 27 to Oct. 29 in Markham, Canada.

Only 20 of the top table tennis players will qualify for the competitions through their respective Continental Cups together with the current World Champions, one host player and a wildcard. (NAN)

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