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Paris 2024: Fatimo Targets Impressive Outing In Table Tennis

Paris 2024: Fatimo Targets Impressive Outing In Table Tennis

Nigeria’s female table tennis player, Fatimo Bello, has expressed readiness to stage a remarkable performance at the Paris 2024 Olympics billed to hold from July 28 until August 10 2024.

Bello, who secured the Olympic ticket after defeating Algeria’s Lynda Loghraibi in the qualifiers, in a press release made available to by the Nigerian Table Tennis Federation (NTTF) reflected on her road to the Olympics, saying it was not a stroll in the park.

Bello recounted her continental qualifiers in Kigali, Rwanda, where she openly expressed her intention to participate in the 2024 Olympic Games in France, stressing that despite her less-than-impressive performance at the 2023 African Games in Ghana, she remained confident in her abilities.

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Bello, a back-to-back National Sports Festival Champion (Edo 2021 & Delta 2023) winner, clinched one of the four slots in Rwanda.

Bello’s journey has been marked by resilience and determination. Her ranking soared after a remarkable performance at the 2022 ITTF Africa Cup, making her the highest-ranked Nigerian female table tennis player globally. Although her rating dropped in 2023 due to inactivity, she persevered and secured her spot in Paris 2024 by defeating Algeria’s Lynda Loghraibi in the qualifiers.

“When people are talking about going to the Olympic Games, it was not part of the reason I started playing table tennis because I love the game and the encouragement from my father and brother inspired me to put more efforts into the game,” she said.

“Even when my game was going down, especially at the last African Games in Ghana, I never doubted my ability because being part of the Nigerian national team is a rare privilege, so I cherish it a lot. Particularly in a nation of millions of players, and for you to make the team is not an easy task. I knew that if I was able to be part of the team, going to Kigali would surely give me the chance to be part of the Olympic Games,” Bello stated.

As she prepares for her Olympic Games debut, Bello remains focused on making an impact. She appreciates the guidance from senior players and is ready to compete against the world’s best.

She added: “I am aware of the challenge ahead at the Olympics where more stars are competing, and I am not going there just to add to the numbers, but to make an impact.

“Many senior players have been advising and supporting me, and I am grateful for their guidance. I am more familiar with the terrain now, having taken a longer route to qualify for the Olympics,” Bello concluded.

Bello’s journey exemplifies resilience and determination, and she aims to make Nigeria proud on the Olympic stage

By Dotun Omisakin

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