As the sole representative of Lagos State in the 10-man Nigeria team to the just concluded Africa Para Table Tennis Championships which served as Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games qualifiers, Ahmed Kolesho has described his qualification as a dream come true.
The Rio 2016 Paralympian, who qualified in the men’s Class 3 after beating his Egyptian counterpart 3-1 in the final, believes hard work and determination aided his eventual qualification which also fetched him the African title.
Also, the Nigeria Table Tennis Federation (NTTF) has commended the players for giving their best with four of them qualifying for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games at the expense of their Egyptian counterparts.
A delighted Koleosho who is also the national champion said: “I am so excited that I was able to pick my ticket in the tournament. It was not an easy route to the final and even the final was a bit difficult but I must say that my toiling in training paid off. I just need to attend more competitions to be in top shape and make my state proud in Japan.”
For the Vice President of NTTF, Elderson Bankole who led Team Nigeria delegation to Egypt, the players indeed made the country proud despite the overwhelming dominance of Egypt who fielded more than 40 players.
“We came with only 10 players and five of them will be heading to Tokyo. This is a feat for them despite the large turnout from the host nation. We are so excited with their qualification and we hope that some of them can still make it by attending more tournaments before the games in 2020. Faith Bazuaye just need to validate her qualification by attending one more tournament before the end of the year,” Bankole who is also the Vice President of Paralympic Committee of Nigeria (PCN) said.
Corroborating Bankole, a board member of NTTF, who was part of the delegation to Egypt, Mabel Akitoye hailed the players while urging for more support for the players.