by Olalekan Okusan, ITTF-Africa Press Officer
Currently Offiong Edem competes in the Spanish League, the experience of playing in Europe she believes is a factor that could prove most beneficial in Budapest.
“I’m prepared for the World Championships; the Spanish League has really helped me a lot at improving my game. It is natural for every athlete to be nervous during competition but my aim is to stay focused, be positive and have confidence in my ability; if you believe, you can achieve.” Offiong Edem.
Optimistic, Offiong Edem sees the Liebherr 2019 World Championships as a major opportunity.
“I am ready; this is an opportunity to compete with the best in the world. I cannot be specific about my target but I will remain focused and positive. I also want to enjoy the atmosphere in Budapest whether I win or lose.” Offiong Edem
Equally, Offiong Edem not only believes the tournament is a chance to make a mark on the international scene, it is also provides a chance to learn.
“First and foremost I want to give my best whether win or lose; I am also aiming to improve in some areas in which I lack. I will be confident in all my matches because the more confidence you have in yourself and your abilities, the better you can perform, the better your potential results. My main priority is to progress from the group stage and get ready for task ahead.” Offiong Edem
A place in the main draw in Budapest would be an achievement; anything further would be a massive bonus, with few exceptions, that is the goal for the majority of players from Africa.
“It is difficult for African players to make the podium because we do not have the same opportunities as Asians and Europeans; to be at the top we must play in at least 70 per cent of the ITTF World Tour events; by doing so we will be able to match the speed and skills of others around the world. Table tennis has changed a lot and you don’t just assume that you are the best when others are still aiming to improve. So African players must break into that cycle; there is there no magic to the top, it requires hard work, funds and quality facilities.” Offiong Edem
On the current women’s world rankings, Offiong Edem is listed at no.177.