Nigeria’s men’s para-table tennis team on Wednesday at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games caused a major upset in the class 4-5 when they defeated Poland.
This was after they failed to make a podium finish in the singles event.
Nigeria’s Ahmed Koleosho and Nick Emmanuel, who were debutants at the Games, turned the table against the European giants with a 2-1 win to berth in the quarterfinal of the competition.
In the first doubles tie, Koleosho and Emmanuel partnered to record an emphatic 3-0 bashing of the Polish pair of Rafal Lis and Krzyszt Zylka. However, the 1-0 lead of Nigeria was thwarted when Rafal Lis beat Koleosho 3-2 in the first singles match to restore parity.
Aware of what the third match meant to the team, Emmanuel returned to the table with determination. He overcame Zylka 3-1 to advance Nigeria to the quarterfinal of the event where they are expected to battle for the semi-final slot against another European powerhouse, Turkey early on Thursday.
President of Nigeria Table Tennis Federation, Wahid Oshodi hailed the players for the victory, which he described as commendable.
He said, “I think this is a good result for the players having given not more than three months for training and also featuring in their first Paralympic Games.”