By Olalekan Okusan, ITTF Africa, Press Officer
As a former African champion, Edem Offiong enjoyed the treatment accorded to a star but her reign was halted at the 2015 African Games in Congo Brazzaville by the eventual champion, Dina Meshref of Egypt.
Since then, she has been looking for an avenue to reclaim her place in the continent. However, she still has to wait for some months when the African Cup holds this year to see how things will pan out for her.
In few weeks, the hurdle before the Portugal-based Nigerian is to corner her way into the main draw of the 2017 World Championship in Dusseldorf, Germany.
“My targets at the World Championships are to play my very best, make myself and my country proud. Also I want to enjoy every bit of the atmosphere, relaxation and the best hot springs in Düsseldorf. I cannot really say how far I will go in the competition but I know if I happen to qualify from the group stage, I will definitely go further,” Edem Offiong said.
Recalling her best outing at the Championship, she said: “I think I played my best at the World Championship in Paris, France. I played so well even despite losing early but I was satisfied with my performance.
For her, playing in Germany would surely be an awesome experience. “I am super excited and I cannot just wait to get there because it is going to be an exciting tournament for most players. Also, we will be playing for the first time in a black surface DHS table tennis board.”
Explaining her expectation, she said: “I expect to do more this year because I am in my best shape. I had trained so well even though training is always different and difficult sometime. I always train and begin specific preparation at least six weeks prior to major tournament. Training is heavy and hard work as it doesn’t give me any specific high or pleasure however, it just has to be done. And with all of this, I believe this year I am going achieve more.”