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Nigeria picks teenage sensation Kuti for 13th African Games

When the table tennis event serves off on Monday, March 4, at the 13th African Games, Nigeria’s teenage sensation Matthew Kuti will be the cynosure of all eyes after the youngster was included in the 10-man contingent listed by the Nigeria Table Tennis Federation (NTTF) for the continental sports fiesta taking place in Accra, Ghana.

Kuti, who dominated the local scene in 2023 winning the majority of the national tournaments in Nigeria and he will be making his debut alongside Amadi Umeh and experienced stars like Quadri Aruna, Olajide Omotayo and Taiwo Mati to compete in the men’s events.

Kuti set a new Nigeria’s national record in December 2023, when within 24 hours he claimed two national titles after emerging as men’s singles champion at the maiden Daniel Ford tournament and the 2nd Renewed Hope championships held in Lagos.

From December 2023, Kuti has been unbeaten, and he has established himself as one of the most talented table tennis players in Africa. His inclusion has been hailed by table tennis buffs who believe the step taken by Nigeria has been inspiring for others to follow.

Read More: Asisat Oshoala drips in popular Lagos club

Also in the women’s event, reigning national champion Hope Uduoka made the cut for the trip to Ghana following her dominance in 2023 and she will be joined by another upcoming star – Sukurat Aiyelabegan. Others in the women’s team include Edem Offiong, Fatimo Bello and Esther Oribamise.

Uduoka, West Africa University Games champion toppled Aiyelabegan in the final of the Renewed Hope tournament to emerge as the women’s singles national champion and her inclusion will add youthfulness to the female team in Ghana.

The coaching crew will be led by African legend Segun Toriola who was recently named by NTTF as the acting national coach following the retirement of former national coach Nosiru Bello.

Toriola who led the team to the last ITTF World Team Championships in Busan, South Korea will be assisted by Dotun Omoniyi, who has been part of the coaching crew to several tournaments.

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