09 Mar 2017

Proudly carrying her nation’s flag at the Opening Ceremony for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, her sixth consecutive appearance in the multi-sport event, more than any other female table tennis player, Nigeria’s Olufunke Oshonaike now looks forward to her next challenge.

Resident in the German city of Hamburg; she will be at the vanguard of her efforts at the forthcoming Liebherr 2017 World Championships to be staged in Düsseldorf from Monday 29th May to Monday 5th June.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

The immediate goal in the Women’s Singles event is to negotiate the qualification stage and gain a place in the main draw; it was a feat she achieved at the Qoros 2015 World Championships in the Chinese city of Suzhou.

A place in the main draw but not further; understandable, she had the toughest possible first round adversary. She was beat by China’s Ding Ning, the top seed and champion elect.

She spoke to Olalekan Okusan, ITTF-Africa Press Officer

Playing and competing in Germany is like playing in China or Japan because they have the best teams in the world.

In Europe, Germany is a table tennis loving country and playing any competition in this country is always awesome. Particularly with the ever supporting fans that are always present to cheer the players regardless of the team they are playing for. I am eagerly looking forward to the tournament because it is the assembly of the best in the world. I cannot wait to compete in Düsseldorf.

I think my experience in 2015 in China was my best outing in the competition. I made it from the qualifiers to the main draw and unfortunately I had to face Ding Ning in the first round. It was a good experience for me and particularly with the cheers from the Chinese fans. I enjoyed the moment and I am also looking forward to a good outing in Germany this year.

At 42 years of age, people are always asking me when I will quit but I know when I am to leave the stage because for now my body is still carrying me and I also train very well particularly playing with my club in the second division of the Bundesliga.

I am hoping that I can do better than 2015 in Suzhou. Although it is a tough challenge for me; I know it is possible with a good draw.

Liebherr 2017 World Championships Olufunke Oshonaike

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