Oshonaike decries fallen standard of Nigerian table tennis

By Daily Sports Nigeria on May 14, 2024

Nigerian women’s table tennis icon Olufunke Oshonaike regrets the fallen standard of sports in the country, PUNCH Sports Extra reports.

Sharing her displeasure in a chat with our correspondent, the German-based multiple medalist regretted the dearth of quality players as compared to the past, citing Quadri Aruna as the only prominent Nigerian player.

The record seven-time Olympian particularly bemoaned the dearth of female tennis players and called for sponsorship and exposure for aspiring players.

She said, “Table tennis has really gone down in Nigeria. As you know, the only name that’s been talked about is Aruna Quadri; we had more names in the past that were reigning. There should be more champions. Apart from that, we don’t really have female players that are so good anymore. We used to win seven gold medals at African Games, but it’s now hard to even win one. It happened during the last edition in Accra, Ghana. We need more funds, sponsors, more competition, and more exposure for the young ones. We need to build new female champions.”

Oshonaike, who recently clocked 50, bemoaned the dearth of quality female players in the country, calling on sponsors to help unearth more Oshonaike across the country and sectors, adding that she is doing her best to help revamp the sport, which is not enough.

“I am trying my best through the Funke Oshonaike Foundation, but I can’t do more because another Funke Oshonaike has to be groomed by local and state governments the way I was groomed,“ reckons Oshonaike, who competed in the women’s singles at the 2020 Summer Olympics for the 7th time, having previously participated in Atlanta 1996, Sydney 2000, Athens 2004, Beijing 2008, London 2012, and Rio 2016.

 

 

Source Punch Ng

Posted May 24, 2024


 

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