Monday, August 17, 2015 12:06 pm
Chief Coach of Nigeria’s U-23 Eagles, Samson Siasia, has declared that his team are poised to deliver the gold medal of men’s football event of the All Africa Games which holds next month in Congo Brazzaville.
The U-23 Eagles are currently in Abuja preparing for the continental championship which they will kick off with their first match against Egypt on 4 September.
The former Super Eagles’ coach said the spirit in camp is high as his boys are looking forward to the Games, adding that anything short of the football gold would be a bad outing for Nigeria in Congo Brazzaville. He also said that the All Africa Games is another good preparatory ground for the U-23 Eagles who will feature at the Africa U-23 Nations Cup in Senegal to secure an Olympic ticket.
TheNEWS reports that Siasia invited 31 players to camp in preparation for next month’s All-Africa Games, in Brazzaville, Congo. The list which was made up of mostly players who qualified for the Dream Team has some new faces like Lucky Jimoh, Bright Onyedikachi, Olisah Ndah amongst others. The invited players were camped at Parkview Hotel, located at Zone 1, Wuse, Abuja.
Still on All Africa Games, two of Nigeria’s most respected table tennis stars, Segun Toriola and Olufunke Oshonaike, will lead Nigeria’s nine-man team to the 2015 African Games holding in Congo Brazzaville. Toriola, who is Africa’s most decorated player and Oshonaike will both be making their seventh appearance at the game since their debut at Cairo 1991 in Egypt. According to the Nigeria Table Tennis Federation (NTTF), 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 who 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 including 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.