Offiong Edem earns first round victory; Omotayo, Oshonaike bow out on Day 2 of Tokyo Olympics
Team Nigeria had mixed fortune on Day 2 of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Just as in Day 1, rising home-based rower Esther Toko was to start off the day for Team Nigeria on Saturday. Brimming with confidence having clocked a Lifetime Best of 8:58.49 to place 5th in her heat, she took to her boat for the repechage round – a second chance to make the quarter-finals.
However, Toko didn’t finish under the 9 minutes mark this time as she placed 4th in Repechage 2 with a time of 9:07.54.
Nonetheless, she will have the opportunity of ending her campaign on a high note when she competes in the semi-final E/F, which is solely for classification, tomorrow.
In Table Tennis, seven-time Olympian Funke Oshonaike bowed out of the Games after conceding a 4-1 defeat to USA’s Juan Liu in the preliminary round of the Women’s Singles.
Liu outclassed Oshonaike in the first three games but the Nigerian legend did well to pull one back in the fourth game. The American however got the better of Oshonaike again in the fifth game and it ended 7-11, 3-11, 4-11, 13-11, 4-11.
Later in the day at the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium, Offiong Edem gave Nigerians a reason to cheer as she eased past Hungary’s Dora Madarasz 4-1 (11-8, 11-9, 11-9, 9-11, 11-4) to progress to the second round of the Women’s Singles.
She will play America’s Lily Zhang in Round 2 on Monday.
In the men’s singles, Olympic debutant Olajide Omotayo crashed out in the first round after losing 4-0 (11-7, 11-9, 11-6, 11-5) to veteran Portuguese star Tiago Apolonia.
In Badminton, Nigeria’s duo of Godwin Olofua and Juwon Opeyori could not match the brilliance of homeboys Hiroyuki Endo and Yuto Watanabe in the opening encounter of Group B. The Japanese duo won the match 2-0 (21-2, 21-7).
Olofua and Opeyori will now hope to avoid defeat in their second group game billed for Monday against Denmark.
Elsewhere, Uche Eke made history as the first Nigerian Gymnast to appear at the Olympics, but the multi-talented 24-year-old could not make the individual finals Artistic Gymnastics on his debut.
He finished with a total score of 74.765 to place 36th overall in Subdivision 2, missing out of the All-Around final as well as the final of every apparatus event he attempted.