Nigeria’s Olufunke Oshonaike has been inducted into the unique membership of seven-time Olympians referred to as the ‘Club 7’ by the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF).
Oshonaike who’s the primary desk tennis participant on the planet and the primary feminine athlete in Africa to attend seven Olympic Games turns into the primary feminine to be inducted into the seventh Club.
The induction ceremony was finished in Tokyo on Monday and attended by the President of ITTF Thomas Weikert in addition to former inductees – Jörgen Persson of Sweden (1988 to 2012), Zoran Primorac of Croatia and the previous Yugoslavia (1988 to 2012), Belgium’s Jean-Michel Saive (1988 to 2012) and Segun Toriola (1992 – 2016).
Across the globe, solely 4 male desk tennis gamers on the planet have been inducted since desk tennis grew to become an Olympic sport at Seoul ‘88 Olympic Games in South Korea and Oshonaike elevated the quantity to 5 being the primary feminine participant on the planet.
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Toriola made his Olympic debut on the Barcelona ‘92 Olympic Games, whereas Oshonaike made her Olympic Games debut on the Atlanta ‘96 Games within the United States.
The former African champion hopes the achievement would encourage younger gamers within the continent to attain their desires.
“I hope this award for me and my country, as the only female in the seventh club in the world, and the only woman in Africa to have achieved the dream of representing her country at the Olympics seven times, will brighten the hearts of Nigerians especially for young girls that dreams can come through regardless of the challenges in life,” she stated.
“Though I might not have won gold, silver or bronze, I have won what no woman in the world of table tennis has ever won. Thank God for the award – the 7 Club award. I’m a proud Nigerian and I hope more women will join me.”
Oshonaike bowed out within the preliminary spherical of the ladies’s singles after dropping to Liu Juan of the United States, whereas she, nevertheless, dominated herself out from the subsequent Olympics in France.