I never doubted my ability to secure Olympics spot, says Nigerian athlete

A Nigerian table tennis star, Fatimo Bello has expressed her excitement following her qualification for the Olympic Games billed to hold in Paris this summer.

Before the continental qualifiers in Kigali, Rwanda, the 27-year-old openly expressed her intention to participate in the 2024 Olympics.

Following her less-than-impressive performance at the 2023 African Games in Ghana, it was not clear how Bello would go through.

But she is now set to compete at the Paris 2024 Olympics, representing Nigeria in table tennis.

Bello, a back-to-back National Sports Festival Champion (Edo 2021 & Delta 2023), clinched one of the four slots in Rwanda.

Earlier, Bello’s ranking soared after a remarkable performance at the 2022 ITTF Africa Cup, making her the highest-ranked Nigerian female player globally.

Read Also: Table tennis federation confirms Aruna, others for Paris Olympic Games

Although her rating dropped in 2023 due to inactivity, Bello went on to secure her spot in Paris by defeating Algeria’s Lynda Loghraibi in the qualifiers.

“When people are talking about going to the Olympic Games, it was not part of the reason I started playing table tennis because I love the game and the encouragement from my father and brother inspired me to put more effort into the game,” she said.

“Even when my game was going down, especially at the last African Games in Ghana, I never doubted my ability because being part of the Nigerian national team is a rare privilege so I cherish it a lot.

“Particularly in a nation of millions of players, and for you to make the team is not an easy task. I knew that if I was able to be part of the team, going to Kigali would surely give me the chance to be part of the Olympic Games,” she said.

She added: “I am aware of the challenge ahead at the Olympics, where more stars are competing, and I am not going there just to add to the numbers but to make an impact.

“Many senior players have been advising and supporting me, and I am grateful for their guidance. I am more familiar with the terrain now, having taken a longer route to qualify for the Olympics.”

The post I never doubted my ability to secure Olympics spot, says Nigerian athlete appeared first on Latest Nigeria News | Top Stories from Ripples Nigeria.

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