By Johnny Edward, Punch Newspaper
Nigeria’s second-ranked table tennis star, Edem Offiong, is delighted after she entered the history books as the first Nigerian to win the European Cup Women’s Table Tennis title.
It was also the first European title for ASD Quattro Mori Cagliari club.
Offiong, currently ranked 142nd in the world, helped her Italian Quattro Mori Cagliari record the famous victory over Hungary’s SH ITB Budaorsi Sport Club in the final over two legs in Budapest.
The Italian team emerged victorious in both legs, with a 3-2 win in the first match and a 3-0 win in the second match.
Offiong recovered from an opening set defeat to beat Maria Fazekas 3-1 (5-11, 10-12, 7-11, 7-11) in the second leg after she had thrashed the Hungarian 3-0 (6-11, 6-11, 8-11) in the first leg.
“I am so happy we won the European Cup Women’s Table Tennis title. I am proud of everyone and I’m so overwhelmed,” Offiong said.
“We approached every match with the same level of focus and intensity as we did in the first leg, but this time, we were even better. We had studied them very well and knew how to overcome them.”
Meanwhile, having missed out on representing Nigeria at the just-concluded 2023 ITTF-Africa Cup in Nairobi, Kenya due to club engagement, Offiong will aim to translate her club form to the national team when she and six other Nigerians compete for honors at the World Table Tennis tourney billed for Durban, South Africa from May 20 to 28.