2015 African Para Table Tennis Championships: Nigerian players in race for places at 2016 Paralympics Games

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Nigeria’s quartet of Francis Chukwuemeka, Ahmed Owolabi Koleosho, Emmanuel Chinedu Nick and Faith Obiora continue their quest for places in the Rio 2016 Paralympics Games at the ongoing 2015 African Para Table Tennis Championships.

The three-day Paralympics qualifiers have players across the world aiming for their spots in various classes. The Nigerian team sponsored by the National Sports Commission (NSC) is coached by Njoku Chiwedu with winners in each class securing automatic qualification to Rio.

For the handler of the team, getting the spots remains the aim of the team. “We want to qualify for the Paralympic Games”, stressed Chiwedu. “There are many countries competing here, we have tough opponents, I guess Morocco is our biggest opponent but I guess we can make it and win more titles.”

Meanwhile, France-based Chukwuemeka added to his medal haul at the 1st Morocco Para Table Tennis Open after combining with Romania’s Bobi Simion in class 6-10 to win gold medal in the men’s team event.

But it was not same story for the duo of Koleosho and Nick as the Nigerians had to settle for silver in the men’s class 1-5 after losing 2-0 to Brazil’s Welder Knaf and Venezuela’s Edson Joel Gomez Sanchez in the final.

Prior to his triumph in the team event, Chukwuemeka clinched the title in the Men’s Singles Class 9-10, while his Romanian partner had also claimed the gold medal in Class 6-8.

Koleosho and Nick did not lose without any fight as the contest was closer than the overall result might suggest. But it was the South Americans that emerged victorious ahead of the Nigerians.