Ahead of 2015 African Games: I’ll make my inclusion count in Brazzaville – Onaolapo

Nigeria's Ojo Onaolapo serves the ball to India's Kamal Sharath Achanta (unseen) during their Bronze Medal Team table tennis match at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow on July 28, 2014. AFP PHOTO / ANDREJ ISAKOVIC

Nigeria’s Ojo Onaolapo serves the ball to India’s Kamal Sharath Achanta (unseen) during their Bronze Medal Team table tennis match at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow on July 28, 2014. AFP PHOTO / ANDREJ ISAKOVIC

Ojo Onaolapo is no stranger to big occasion.

He saved Nigeria at the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games when his unexpected victory over highly-rated India’s Sharath Achanta fetched the country the bronze medal won by the men’s team at the tournament.

Onaolapo, 21, made the cut for the nine-man team to the 2015 African Games told NationSport yesterday that his inclusion in the team will be meaningful in Congo Brazzaville.

“I think I see it as a rare privilege to be part of the Nigerian team to the African Games especially to be in same team with great players like Segun Toriola and Aruna Quadri. For me I must utilize this chance to prove what I am capable of doing. There is no doubt that Egyptians are our main challengers in Brazzaville and I am confident that with the kind of training we have been and the spirit in camp, we can turn the table against the North Africans. I won’t be going to the games to add to the number but to make the kind of impact I made during the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games to help the team win the men’s event. I am sure we can dethrone Egypt in the men’s team with the quality of players in our team,” he said.

Acknowledging the task of making the team, he said: “I must tell you that it was not that easy making the final list of players to the games. The presence of former champions like Monday Merotohun and Kazeem Nosiru as well as others really made it tasking this year because for you to prove yourself, you must be able to beat champions. So for me, I knew I had to be at my best during the trials and I thank God that I made the cut. My focus now is on the games and I hope I can be at my best in Brazzaville.”

The former junior national champion however, expressed his delight over the engagement of the German tactician, who is expected to arrive this weekend to start working with the team. “I am happy that we are having such quality of coach to be part of the team. We hope he can help us to correct some of our mistakes before the games and his presence will also motivate us to do well. We are looking forward to working with him and we hope his experience can help us greatly at the games,” Onaolapo said.

Olalekan Okusan, ITTF Africa, Press Officer

German coach to handle Nigeria table tennis team to 2015 African Games

Unveiling of the coachNigeria Table Tennis Federation (NTTF) Technical Adviser, Martin Adomeit (third from right); Secretary General, NTTF, Chinedu Ezeala-Ogundare (second right), Board Members, Olabanji Oladapo (third from left); Alderson Bankole (second left); Tajudeen Agunbiade (left) and National Coach, Nosiru Bello

To ensure that Nigeria performs well at the 2015 African Games, the Nigeria Table Tennis Federation (NTTF) has engaged former German national coach, Martin Adomeit as its technical adviser.

The hiring of the coach was made possible through the financial support of the National Sports Commission (NSC).

The German tactician guided Nigeria’s Aruna Quadri to the quarterfinal stage of the 2014 ITTF World Cup in Dusseldorf, Germany and he is expected to arrive Nigeria this week to start working with the team in readiness for the games.

From 1978 to 1980 Martin Adomeit worked at youth level of clubs with Germany-based Soest TV and TuS Ampen. In 1981 he joined the TuS Jahn Soest and was part of the  technical crew of the team’s female team in the Bundesliga League and in 1984, he took over as coach of the women’s team of the club. He also served from 1988 to 1997 as honourary coach of the West German Table Tennis Association (WTTA).

In 1996, he was appointed as an assistant coach by the German Table Tennis Association DTTB and in 1997 he ended all previous activities at club levels and took over the post of national coach of the German female team.

Under his tutelage, the German women’s team won three consecutive times the European League as well as winner of the 1998 and 1999 European Ladies Team Championship while in 2000, the team won silver.

For this feat, the Association of German Table Tennis Coaches named Adomeit as the coach of the year in 1999.

After the poor outing of the German team at the 2000 ITTF World Cup, Adomeit stepped down and was replaced by Richard Prause as women’s coach. Adomeit now assumed responsibility for the female junior team.

From August 2004 to April 2007, Adomeit worked as coach and sporting director in Luxembourg while he also handled the Belgium national team from 2008 to 2010.

From 2010, he has been working as Independent coach in camps for players and coaches for the European Table Tennis Union (ETTU) and ITTF, German Organising Committee (OC), coach education in Germany as well as personal coach to top players across the globe.

The 51 year-old Dortmund-born tactician is a licensed coach, who studied at the German Sport University in Cologne.

Olalekan Okusan, ITTF Africa, Press Officer

 

Nigeria names Toriola, Oshonaike, seven others for 2015 African Games

Segun Toriola Funke Oshonaike

Segun Toriola and Olufunke Oshonaike will be making their seventh appearance at the 2015 African Games after the former champions were named alongside other seven others by the Nigeria Table Tennis Federation (NTTF) for the multi-sports championship in Congo Brazzaville.

As the most respected table tennis stars, Toriola and Oshonaike will lead Nigeria’s nine-man team to the Games. Toriola and Oshonaike made their debut at Cairo 1991 in Egypt.

The nine-man team was selected based on their ranking coupled with series of trails organized in Lagos in the last three weeks.

Toriola is the most successful player in the history of African Games having won the men’s singles title four consecutive times in 1995, 1999, 2003 and 2007.

Like Toriola, Oshonaike is also the most successful female player in the history of the games having claimed the women’s singles title twice in 1999 and 2003 while she was runner’s up in 1991 and 2011 will be making her seventh appearance at the multi-sports championships.

Toriola, a six-time Olympian will be joined in the men’s team by 2014 ITTF Star Player, Aruna Quadri, Bode Abiodun, Seun Ajetunmobi and Ojo Onaolapo.

Besides Quadri and Ajetunmobi who had featured at the previous African Games, Abiodun and Onaolapo will be making their debut at the games

Oshonaike will spearhead the female team which include African Games women’s singles defending champion, Edem Offiong, Cecilia Otu-Akpan and Rasheedat Ogundele.

Also, Offiong and Otu-Akpan will be making their fourth appearance at the games having debuted at Abuja 2003 in Nigeria. The duo is also the women’s doubles defending champions having retained the title they won in Algiers 2007 at the 2011 edition in Mozambique.

Ogundele, who is only debutant in the female team returned to the national team having had a stint with the team to various continental and international tournaments.

Olalekan Okusan, ITTF Africa, Press Officer

Geoffrey Reed

Geoff Reed - January 2015 with NatWest trophiesGeoff Reed in January 2015

It is with great sadness that the death of Geoff Reed, Honorary President of the Jersey Table Tennis Association is announced. He passed away on Sunday 3rd May, he was 89 years old.

A thanksgiving service will be held at 1.15pm on Friday 22nd May at 1.15pm at the St Helier Methodist Church, followed by a reception organized by the Jersey Table Tennis Association

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I have known Geoff since the 1980’s at CTTF meetings but I became really close to him in the 1990’s and we had remained close friends for at least the last twenty years.Geoff had a very strong sense of fairness, sportsmanship and was always a fighter for the right of the smaller associations.  He was so proud of Jersey and I believe he regarded the Jersey Table Tennis Association as his family.

He served Table Tennis right up to the end and I know that JTTA will sorely miss him but so will the wider Commonwealth Table Tennis Federation community.

A gentleman has gone to rest.

Neil Harwood

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Geoff Reed

(7 July 1925 – 3 May 2015)

Geoffrey Harold Reed was born on 7 July 1925 in London. The son of a Baptist deacon he was brought up in Brownhill Road Baptist Church in Catford. During the war he was evacuated to Lancashire and eventually attended Colts Grammer School where he passed the nowadays equivalent of O levels. He started work with the RAF after leaving school as an apprentice mechanic and then moved to Jersey in 1948 when his parents, Edith and Harold retired to the Island. Geoff’s grandparents had also moved to Jersey some time before where his Grandfather practiced as a dentist with their family home at Beachwood Cottage at La Rocque. Geoff became a Hoover salesman before joining Ken Sheppard at Forum Garage which was initially a car hire establishment. Geoff became the junior partner and the firm progressed to holding the Peugeot dealership. Geoff remained there until he retired.

Known simply as ‘Geoff’ he was Mr. Jersey Table Tennis and he remained the Patriarch of the sport until the day he passed away having officiated at the Inter Insular where Jersey achieved a last gasp win in the Aggregate when winning the Green Trophy 8—2. Since moving to the island after the war he was heavily involved in the organisation and training of junior and senior players initially within the Caesarean Table Tennis Club and he also became fully involved in the administration of the sport’s organising and overarching body the Jersey Table Tennis Association. He devoted his life for over 50 years to the sport in Jersey and served in virtually every capacity possible in the JTTA including President. He introduced table tennis to many hundreds of youngsters from all the different local clubs coaching them from beginners, and his methods have produced many Channel Island champions and highly ranked UK players. Some of these young people came from difficult backgrounds and Geoff managed to motivate them in such a way being involved in the sport to make them more disciplined and to give them a purpose.

Internationally Geoff was recognised as “Mr Jersey” when he regularly attended the International Table Tennis Federation meetings at his own expense. He became an international umpire in 1983 and umpired and refereed many top international matches. For ten years he was the European representative on the Commonwealth TT Federation management committee. He was also an active member of the Swaythling Club and remained fully involved on the JTTA Council. The former is for Table Tennis Champions and Officials who had represented their countries in World Championships. Geoff was the only member from Jersey and served for some 40 years attending the AGM and usually contributing as a scrutineer. He was well liked and was known as always willing to assist.

In 2006 he was recognized with a special award for his life time contribution to Table Tennis at the Channel Island Sports Personality Awards. Then in 2009 his endeavour and service was recognized by the sport’s world governing body, the ITTF who presented him their prestigious Merit award.

Geoff’s contribution to table tennis has been tremendous and selfless, not only at club level but especially at island level where he was a leading figure in achieving the long sought after goal of an island Table Tennis Headquarters. His contribution in time, effort and enthusiasm was surpassed when the JTTA had to find sufficient funds to build the new HQ at the FB Fields where all the clubs could play under one roof. Geoff mortgaged his home to provide the funds towards the costs of establishing the JTTA premises in FB Fields. Without this amazing gesture the Geoff Reed Table Tennis HQ would not have been built and opened on 16 June 1999. This has made a huge difference to the sport in the Island allowing the JTTA to host visisting clubs and Associations for tournaments, coaching and umpiring courses and most importantly as a base for schools to visit where the children can learn the rudiments of the game before taking the sport up full time. The Centre which bears his name will be hosting the sport of Table Tennis in the forthcoming Island Games and will be played under the newly installed state of the art LED lighting organised by Geoff very recently.

His memory will live on with the magnificent purpose built table tennis centre which bears his name. He is and will be deeply missed by all members both past and present of the JTTA.

Gallant Toriola bows out in China

Toriola 2

 

Everybody that watched the first round match between Nigeria’s Segun Toriola and Chinese’s Sheng-Sheng Huang was thrilled with the quality displayed by the former African champion.

It was a match that ignited the second hall of Suzhou International Expo Centre and a must-watch for all as Toriola in his usual style came from 3-0 down to level at 3-3 before surrendering narrowly to the Taiwanese.

Many had thought that the match will be a one-sided encounter considering the ranking of the Taiwanese who is at present rated 77 in the world while Toriola in the last six months has been take off the world ranking when he was in 180.

Even the coach of his opponent was already packing his bag after the third game thinking that they would leave the hall so early.

But a never-say-die Toriola came from the brink of defeat to surprise his opponent who started fidgeting to the extent of angrily removing the bandage around his leg.

A lion-hearted Toriola played to his best and he was getting applauds from the spectators who had to abandon other matches to witness the comeback of the Nigerian.

Even an Austrian coach who tutoring on the next table had to focus on Toriola’s match and he told NationSport that he was not surprise as Toriola is well known worldwide as a determined player whose performance has always attracted a lot of people in the world.

Within 30 minutes, Toriola has leveled the match at 3-3 and this forced the Taiwanese coach to start shouting on his player.

But the deciding game turned out to the best the worst for Toriola and to confirm the importance of the seventh, every point won by the Taiwanese was always followed with a big shout. But at the end he won at 4-3.

From all his matches in the tournament, Toriola showed that he is still a force to reckon with in the world while his presence in the Nigerian team most times motivate the younger players.

His experience and conduct as a dedicated player will surely be needed at the African Cup in Cameroun, All Africa Games in Congo Brazzaville as well as the Commonwealth Championship in India late this year.

Africa roundup – India’s Ghosh thrilled by win over Quadri

GHOSH Soumyajit (1)

He could not hide his excitement following his big victory over 2014 ITTF Star Player, Nigeria’s Aruna Quadri and he was quick to say, “I am happy beating Aruna in a big stage.”

India’s Soumyajit Ghosh was one of the players that progress to the second round of the 53rd ITTF World Championships after his emphatic 4-1 victory over the Nigerian star.

“I was a bit nervous before the match but when we started and I started winning I was gaining my confidence. When I was leading 3-0, I was a bit excited to finish the match and this caused me the fourth game. But when we started the fifth game, I started getting nervous again. But I ensured I led from the start to be certain of my total victory,” he admitted.

“Quadri is a great player considering his performance in 2014 and for me beating him in a big stage like the World Championships is indeed a very important win for me and my career. My nervous stemmed from the fact that he is ranked higher than me and I was jittery when we started but as the game progresses I was relaxed. So I am excited and I hope that this can spur me on in my next match,” Ghosh said.

Nigeria’s Aruna Quadri was not himself after his quick exit from the ongoing ITTF World Championships and he blamed his loss to India’s Soumyajit Ghosh on his inability to control the backhand of his Indian opponent.

“This is indeed my bad day because some of my backhand strokes were just going out and I also had difficulty controlling his backhand and this really affected my game. Also his service was my undoing, while all my topspin forehands were just not on target and they were just going out. I want to think that this is just one of the bad days for me in this tournament,” he said.

“It is painful going out early especially losing in such circumstance early in big tournament like. But that is table tennis and I hope to learn from this defeat and continue to work harder,” the Nigerian said.

Over to the Women

When Olufunke Oshonaike was pitched against world number one, China’s Ning Ding, she was quick to admit that her birthday celebration has been halted as this might be her last game in the women’s singles of the ITTF World Championships.

However, what was supposed to be a very boring and one-sided match turned to be an excitement for Oshonaike who described the encounter as fun.

Although she lost 4-0 to the Chinese superstar but the experience and time she spent on table against the celebrated World Champion would remain in her memory.

“I was not too happy when I saw the draw that I will be facing Ning Ding because today happened to be my birthday. I just told myself that I had nothing to lose and that I should just go in there and have fun. To be sincere I indeed had fun against Ding because I played without any pressure as I was just enjoying myself. There is no doubt that she is the fans favourite but her friendliness on table coupled with the experience playing against the world’s best was what I enjoyed during the encounter,” she said.

Oshonaike, who sponsored herself to the tournament, said she was fulfilled as a player having made it to main draw for the first time since she has been playing in the competition. “I am happy with my performance in this competition and my losing to the world number one is not a big deal because I have achieved a lot in the tournament and for me this is best time I enjoyed in this competition as I have been dreaming of playing players like Ding. So I am leaving this competition a happy person because I really had fun and when you are having fun, you are not under any pressure,” she admitted.

Africa unites in Suzhou as Olufunke Oshonaike and Sarah Hanffou partner in doubles

Funke 5

There is no doubt that in Suzhou, Africans are united through table tennis considering the partnership involving Olufunke Oshonaike of Nigeria and Sarah Hanffou of Cameroun in the women’s doubles of the ITTF World Championships in China.

  Although, the union was not consummated during the registration for the tournament but the absence of some Nigerian players may have prompted Olufunke Oshonaike to consider Sarah Hanffou.

  Playing from the main draw of the women’s doubles, the duo overcame African doubles’ champion, Egypt’s Dina Meshref and Nadeen El-Dawlatly 4-1 to book their place in the second round of the event.

  But watching the Nigerian and the Camerounian played on Tuesday, one would not be convinced that they are playing together for the first time as the Chemistry between the two worked very well.

  They seem to have quickly understood each other while their combination confused the young Egyptians. From the start of the match, they dominated giving the continental counterparts a run for their money.

  After the sweet victory, Hanffou admitted that it was exciting partnering one of Africa’s most experienced players as she hopes to learn from her.

  “I think combining with Funke Oshonaike was awesome because she is one of the most experienced players in Africa. I never knew we would understand ourselves like this and it was also a great opportunity to play with the current African champion. I think this should be encouraged in Africa for players from different countries to partner. I am going to really learn from her because despite her age, she is still playing well,” she said.

  The Paris-based legal practitioner added: “Playing against the Egyptians really afforded us the opportunity to test their strength in readiness for the All Africa Games. For me it was fun and I enjoyed every bit of the match and I hope we can continue to progress.”

  For Oshonaike, it was a great experience playing with such a good player who has shown a lot of promises in the sport. “I think Haffou’s comportment and understanding on table is really motivating to me and this has really brought out my best. We talked to each other on table and we also understand ourselves and this is what we need as partners in the doubles event. I am having fun and I am so excited that we were able to defeat African champion,” Oshonaike said.

Press Release – Commonwealth Table Tennis Federation

AGM Photograph
At the Annual General Meeting of the Commonwealth Table Tennis Federation, the Table Tennis Federation of India were awarded the right to stage the next Commonwealth Table Tennis Championships which will be played in Surat near Mumbai from 27 October to 1 November 2015.

The Championships are expected to attract the large majority of the leading Commonwealth nations.  The following have already indicated their intention to participate – Singapore, England, Australia, Malaysia, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland as well as the local Associations of Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh and India.

The Championships will be run in 2 parts.  The team events will take place over the first 3 days and the 5 individual events – Men’s and Women’s Singles and 3 double events – in the last 3 days.

An option was given to Table Tennis Scotland to organise the next Championships in 2017 in Glasgow.

Reports of correspondence and discussions between the Commonwealth Games Federation and the ITTF which gave details of the recommendation from the CGF Board to include table tennis as a core sport in the Games from 2022 were welcomed.  This would mean that table tennis would be included automatically in every Games thereafter.  The final decision with regard to this will be taken at the Commonwealth Games General Assembly in Auckland in September.

It was also reported that quotas of the number of players participating in the Commonwealth Games may be introduced.  Table tennis is already in the list of sports included in the next Commonwealth Games in the Gold Coast in 2018.

The elections for the Officers of the Commonwealth Table Tennis Federation took place at the meeting.  The following were elected for a 4 year term:

Board

Chairman: Alan Ransome, England
Deputy Chairman: Paul Kyle, New Zealand
General Secretary: Chan Foong Keong, Malaysia
Treasurer: Audrey MacDonald, South Africa
Chairman, Technical Committee: Chandra Madhosingh, Canada
Continental Representatives
Africa Oshodi Wahid Enitan, Nigeria
Asia D R Choudhary, India
Ellen Lee Geck Hon, Singapore
North America David Jackson, Canada
Europe Phil McCallum, Scotland
Andreas Georgiou, Cyprus
Caribbean Ray Jackman, Barbados

The next Commonwealth meeting will be held during the Championships in Surat in October.

Alan Ransome
Chairman

Commonwealth meetings in Suzhou

The documentation for the Commonwealth Table Tennis Federation Limited AGM and the reports for our meeting in Room 1, Suzhou International Expo Centre, Suzhou City, China are available on the links below

The Chairmans Letter about Suzhou

Agenda for AGM Suzhou

Chairmans Report

Deputy Chairman’s Report

Secretarys Report

Report on Glasgow

Vale Mr Keith Bowler

CTTF_AGM_Meeting_29.4.14_Minutes

CTTF_Bod_Meeting_28.4.14_Minutes

Current List Of Nominated Members

And some forms relevant to the meeting

Proxy voting form

CTTF Notification of Representative Member Form 2015

Keith Bowler

 

It is with sadness that I have to report to you the passing of our former General Secretary, Keith Bowler from Australia, who died on Saturday night, 14 March.

Keith was a Personal Honorary Member of the Commonwealth Table Tennis Federation which was awarded for his many years of service to our Association.  He was also a Personal Honorary Member of the Oceania Table Tennis Federation.  He was a Life Member of the New South Wales Association of Table Tennis Australia.

Ian Marshall has published a short obituary from Phil Males ono the ITTF website, link as follows:

http://www.ittf.com/_front_Page/ittf_full_story1.asp?ID=38947&Category=s_club&Competition_ID=&

Keith had worked particularly closely with Neil Harwood on Commonwealth matters.

A minute’s silence will be held for Keith at our AGM in Suzhou next month.

There is an excellent tribute to Keith in the CTTF history document written by the late Margaret Walden

Alan Ransome