Edem Offiong has become the first Nigerian to qualify for the table tennis singles event at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo after a hard-fought win over local favourite Fadwa Garcia at the ongoing Olympics Qualifying tournament in Tunisia.
Offiong, fresh from reaching the final at the just concluded 2020 ITTF Africa Cup hosted in Tunisia edged her opponent 4-3 (13-11,11-1,9-11,11-95-11,8-11,11-6) to seal a spot in Tokyo.
Edem Offiong of Nigeria has QUALIFIED for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo after a difficult 4-3 (13-11,11-1,9-11,11-95-11,8-11,11-6) victory over home favorite Fadwa Garci.
She becomes the first Nigerian Table tennis player to qualify.
— ITTF-Africa (@ITTFAfrica) February 28, 2020
Nigeria had previously failed to qualify for the team event after they lost to Egypt at the African Games last year and fell short at the qualifiers in Portugal earlier in the year.
That left the singles qualifying tournament as the only route to the Olympics for the country’s players.
Effiong becomes the first to pick a ticket at the tournament with seven spots in the singles still up for grabs.
Compatriots Funke Oshonaike, Aruna Quadri and Olajide Omotayo will hope to join her in sealing qualification at the end of competition on Friday.