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Table tennis: Fatimo Bello qualifies for first-ever Olympics

Table tennis: Fatimo Bello qualifies for first-ever Olympics

Fatimo Bello has secured her spot at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, becoming the latest Nigerian table tennis player to qualify for the quadrennial event.

Bello defeated Algeria’s Lynda Loghraibi 4-2 in the final of the second stage of the African Olympic Qualification Tournament at bK Arena in Kigali, Rwanda.

The 24-year-old had initially failed to qualify through the first stage of qualifiers after losing 4-1 to Cameroon’s Sarah Hanffou. However, she returned stronger to win the sole slot in the second stage of qualifiers of the women’s singles.

Bello will join her compatriots – Olajide Omotayo and Offiong Edem – to compete in the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, increasing Nigeria’s representation in table tennis to three players.

Also securing a spot in the Paris Olympics was Algeria’s Mehdi Bouloussa, who missed out on the first stage of qualifiers but atoned for his defeat by picking the last slot in the men’s singles of the qualification tournament.

In addition to Nigeria’s trio of Bello, Omotayo, and Edem, the qualified players from the Kigali qualifiers include Cameroon’s Sarah Haffou, who will make her third Olympic appearance, and Fabio Rakotoarimanana, who became the first Madagascan table tennis player to qualify for the Olympic Games after picking the second slot in the first stage of the qualifiers.

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