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Nigerian's deal Singapore backhanders to remember

29 July 2002

Skilful Nigerians set-up ping pong gold medal showdown with England.

Table tennis

Nigeria overcame a resilient Singapore team, with their best performance so far in the tournament.

England’s Matthew Syed, whose team claimed their place in the final with a 3-1 win over India, had stated earlier that he would prefer to meet Nigeria. On this form, he may have to think again.

The Nigerian coach, Babatunde Obisanya commented afterwards: “The team is very happy. Even though we had hard preliminary matches, we’ve never had one as hard as this. We expected a tough match.”

Despite Singapore’s spirited display, they could not compete with Nigeria for skill.

Obisanya said: “We have a superior technical ability than Singapore. My players have better backhand strokes and control.

“They are a bit different because one or two of their players have very different styles of play, but we have a 50 / 50 chance.”

Tuesday’s team final should provide an interesting contest, with both teams desperate to take the gold. Singapore and India both take home a bronze.

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