Home Sports Athletics Aruna, Okezie qualify, secure 2024 Olympics tickets

Aruna, Okezie qualify, secure 2024 Olympics tickets

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Nigeria’s Quadri Aruna has been confirmed by the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) as one of the 86 players who will take part in the men’s singles event of the Paris 2024 Olympic Games by world ranking.

The 35-year-old will be making his fourth appearance at the Olympics having previously represented Nigeria in 2012, 2016 and 2020, reaching the quarter-finals in 2016.

Aruna and Algeria’s Lynda Loghraibi were both confirmed by the ITTF on Friday ahead of next week’s world ranking.

The Nigerian’s qualification by ranking had been delayed by the point deduction he suffered in April but he was on course to make the trip to Paris after winning his appeal against the ITTF.

“With less than 50 days to the games, this week’s world ranking update has seen eight athletes secure their participation based on the selection of continental quotas allocated by world ranking”, ITTF said in a statement relayed by the African Table Tennis Federation.

“The men’s singles draw welcomes African powerhouse, Quadri Aruna from Nigeria, alongside the Americas’ rising talent Nicolas Burgos from Chile. Asia’s Kirill Gerassimenko of Kazakhstan and Europe’s Alvaro Robles of Spain, who previously qualified in mixed doubles, also confirm their spots.

“The women’s singles competition showcases a similar level of global talent. Lynda Loghraibi from Algeria (Africa), Adriana Diaz of Puerto Rico (Americas), Singapore’s Zhou Jingyi (Asia), and Yang Xiaoxin of Monaco (Europe) can now officially begin their preparations for their Olympic dreams in Paris”.

With only one more world ranking update scheduled before the final roster for Paris is confirmed, the qualification process reaches its penultimate stage as next week’s world rankings will be crucial in determining the final competitors for the highly anticipated Paris 2024 Games.

86 men and 86 women are expected to compete in the singles events of the Olympic Games

Also, ITTF has named three Africans – Akram Attia (Tunisia), Es-Sayed Elrawdy (Egypt), and Ronald Mugwanya (Uganda) as umpires for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

Meanwhile, African Games gold medallist, Chidi Okezie, who has just punched his ticket for the men’s 400m of the Paris 2024 Olympics is eager to be back in the country to compete in the national trials which will be held at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium in Benin City from Sunday 16 June to 18 June.

Okezie secured qualification to this summer’s Olympic games in Paris after running a new personal best (PB) of 44.97s to win the men’s 400m at the Edmonton Athletics Invitational in Canada on Thursday.

He broke the elite 45 seconds for the first time in his career, defeating Wil London III and DaeQwan Butler both from the United States of America.

A few hours after setting his new PB, he confirmed to PUNCH Sports Extra that his next event would be the National Trials in Benin City.

“It’s a great feeling to run the qualification standard. I’m definitely coming for the trials”, he said.

The event will be used by the Athletics Federation of Nigeria to pick athletes for the Paris Olympics, the Africa Championships which holds later this month in Cameroon and the World U-20 Championship in Lima, Peru, from 27 to 31 August.

After winning his first-ever gold medal for Nigeria at the African Games in Ghana in March, Okezie has also inspired the men’s 4x400m and the mixed 4x400m relay teams to pick the Olympics tickets during the World Relays in the Bahamas.

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