Nigeria’s tennis team were on Thursday drawn against China in the first round of the men’s team event of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
Nigeria, who are ranked 14th out of the 16 teams in the event, will play tournament favourites China in their first match on August 12. But the singles event will begin on Saturday.
Segun Toriola, Aruna Quadri and Bode Abiodun will aim to pull off an upset against the Chinese side, who will be led by world number one, Zhang Jike.
“The draw is really tough. I believe that we can cause an upset against China because we aren’t in Brazil for fun but I have to say that it will be very difficult,” Abiodun told our correspondent.
“I also believe we will learn a lot from the match. The new playing system introduced by the ITTF has given the 16 teams an equal opportunity to make it to win. We will surely try our best.”
In the singles draw, Toriola will begin his campaign against Czech Republic’s Prokopcov Dmitrij on Saturday while Edem Offiong battles Fiji Island’s Yee Sally for a place in the main draw. Funke Oshonaike will also play Lebanon’s Sahakian Mariana.
Quadri will compete on Sunday in the round two of the men’s single.