Funke Oshonaike Sets Record With Tokyo 2020 Qualification

Funke Oshonaike serves a ball

Funke Oshonaike has become the first African female athlete to qualify for seven Olympic Games after the former African table tennis champion secured her place in the table tennis singles at Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

Oshonaike beat Cameroun’s Sarah Hanffou 4-1 in her final group match at the ongoing Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Tunis to seal her place in Tokyo.

She had earlier defeated Algeria’s Lynda Loghraibi 4-1 to set up the tie against Hanffou.

She joins compatriot Edem Offiong who sealed her spot at the 2020 Games earlier in the day.

By qualifying for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, Oshonaike broke the record she had shared with Mozambican track legend Maria Mutola who had six appearances at the Games.

Oshonaike had featured in six previous Olympic Games starting with Atlanta 1996, Sydney 2000, Athens 2004, Beijing 2008, London 2012 and Rio 2016.

The feat also means Oshonaike equalled the outright record for an African athlete competing at the Games which was previously solely held by compatriot and fellow table tennis player Segun Toriola.

Toriola will have a chance to claim the outright record for himself when he takes to the table with Oshonaike in the mixed doubles qualifiers which serve off on Saturday, 29 February.