Table Tennis: Funke Oshonaike Battles Into Main Draw of ITTF World Championship

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Olufunke Oshonaike outlasted Safa Saidani to reach the main draw of the women’s singles event at the 2015 ITTF World Championship in China on Monday.

The veteran Nigerian- ranked 213th in the world- expended all seven games of her final round-robin tie to advance by a narrow 4-3 win to the main draw.

But unlike in her previous wins against Martinez Cynthia of Costa Rica and Mexico’s Madrid Mercedes, both straight game successes, Funke staved off an 11-5 11-8 8-11 11-9 9-11 10-12 12-10 win to emerge victorious by a slim 2-point margin at the expense of her Tunisian opponent.

“I did not play well because I was tired. I wanted to win four-nil but it was a bit difficult for me because she was using pimples at her backhand,” Funke is quoted as saying on “I had to be careful in her backhand but I think she played better than me.

Olufunke Embraces Safa Saidana of Tunisia after Her Final Round-Robin Win. Image: ITTF.
Olufunke Embraces Safa Saidana of Tunisia after Her Final Round-Robin Win. Image: ITTF.

“Actually, I actually wanted to win all my matches four-nil to be the first in my group. I am pleased to come to China, now I have reached the main draw, it has been worthwhile.”

Funke is the last Nigerian standing in the main draw of the women’s event and faces a difficult challenge in the first round against world champion and China’s top seed Ding Ning on Tuesday.

The ITTF World Championship- tagged QOROS 2015- is taking place in the Chinese city of Sonzhou.

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