Africa’s representatives at the ongoing International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) Team World Cup in Tokyo, Nigeria and Egypt, have been eliminated after both losing their two first-round games.
Having lost 3-0 in the first game against China, the Nigerians came into the make-or-mar game against Chinese Taipei knowing only a win would secure a second-round spot for them.
However, they were outdone by the excellent performance of Yun-Ju Lin, the 10th-ranked player in the world, as Chinese Taipei took the final second-round ticket with a 3-1 win.
In similar fashion, Egypt were also beaten in the women’s category by Ukraine. The African champions had lost 3-0 in their first game, and though Dina Meshref put up a good performance, it was not enough to save them from a first-round exit, as they lost 3-1 to the Europeans.
World Champions China strolled over the United States of America (USA) with a 3-0 win to reach the semi-final of the competition while Japan also beat Germany 3-1 in the other quarter-final of the men’s event.
The rest of the games will be played on November 8 while the competition itself will come to an end on Sunday, November 10.
The ITTF Team World Cup is a 12-team competition that features various continental champions and top-ranked teams in the world. It is also a dress rehearsal ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games