Nigeria and Africa’s topmost female table tennis star, Olufunke Oshonaike says that the coronavirus pandemic which has ravaged the entire sporting world will not derail her Olympics ambition.
Oshonaike who battled depression and survived two surgeries went on to make history as the first Nigerian and African woman to qualify for a record seventh Olympics appearance.
In a chat with Complete Sports, Oshonaike said she has remained physically active during the covid19 crisis and is now looking forward to resuming training having missed the game so much.
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“The coronavirus pandemic has really affected my training programs,” begins the Olympian.
“It has stopped the TT league matches here in Germany where I am based, but it’s not going to derail my Olympics ambitions.
“I gained some time too for my preparations and since the Olympics will now hold next year, it means I have more time for training.
“Talking about keeping fit, I’ve been actively doing more of that lately. I go for jogging 3 times a week, go for walking 2 times a week and then I do all other physical training at home.
“I really missed the TT but thank God we can return to full training now starting from this week,” said Oshonaike who booked her qualification after defeating Cameroun’s Sarah Hanffou 4-1 in her final group match at the Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Tunis earlier this year.
By qualifying for the Tokyo Olympics, Oshonaike broke the record she had shared with Mozambican track legend Maria Mutola who had six appearances at the Games.
Oshonaike had featured in six previous Olympic Games starting with Atlanta 1996, Sydney 2000, Athens 2004, Beijing 2008, London 2012 and Rio 2016.
By Sulaiman Alao