One player in Africa that is yet to utilise her huge potential in table tennis is Edem Offiong of Nigeria.
The Spain-based former African champion has been unlucky at several continental competitions in the last two years that she most time lose to her rival- Dina Meshref of Egypt at crucial stage. But a determined Edem offiong believes her sojourn in Spain has equipped her very well for the challenge in Budapest.
“I’m well prepared for the World Championship and 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 focus, be positive and be confidence of my ability because you can achieve what you believe,” Edem Offiong said.
The Nigerian star believes the world championship afford most players to compete against the best players in the world. “I am very much ready as this is an opportunity to compete with the best around the world. I cannot be specific about my target but I will remain focus and positive. I also want to enjoy the atmosphere in Budapest whether I win or lose,” she added.
“First and foremost I want to give my best whether win or lose; and I am also aiming to improve in some areas which I lack the abilities. I will be confident in all my matches because the more confident you have in yourself and your abilities, the better you can perform and better your potential results. My main priority is to progress from the group stage and get ready for task ahead,” enthused Edem Offiong.
Edem Offiong believes the inability of African players to compete in more tournament like their Asian and European counterparts has been their undoing to make it to the podium at major tournament like the world championship.
“It is difficult for African players to make the podium because we do not have the same opportunities they (Asians and Europeans) had, and to be at the top we have to play at least 70 percent of the tours. By doing so, we will be able to match up with the speed and skills of others in 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 as there is there no magic to the top, it requires hard work, funds and quality facilities,” she said.
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