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History maker Rakotoarimanana from Madagascar seals ticket to Paris during the African qualifying tournament

History maker Rakotoarimanana from Madagascar seals ticket to Paris during the African qualifying tournament
History maker Rakotoarimanana from Madagascar seals ticket to Paris during the African qualifying tournament


Madagascar's Fabio Rakotoarimanana made history at the just-concluded African Olympic qualifying tournament in Kigali, the Rwandan capital, after the 21-year-old became the first Malagasy table tennis player to qualify for the Olympic Games* following his victory in the first leg of the Olympic Games. qualifying tournaments.

Hosted at the beautiful BK Arena in Kigali, 50 players from 14 countries took part in the three-day tournament organized by the Rwanda Table Tennis Federation (RTTF), and Rakotoarimanana, the East African champion, defied all odds to become one of the best to choose. three tickets in the men's singles.

Fabio Rakotoarimanana became the first table tennis player from Madagascar to qualify for the Olympic Games.

After working his way from the group to the semi-finals, Rakotoarimanana was stretched in the semi-finals by Tunisian teenager Wassim Essid as the Madagascar triumphed 4-3 (13-11, 8-11, 11-8, 9- 11, 12). -10, 4-11, 11-9) to choose his place in the first phase of the qualifying tournament.

Moreover, Algeria's Mehdi Bouloussa had to wait until the second leg of the qualifiers to pick up his first Olympic Games tickets to Paris*.

The Algerian was eliminated in the first leg by Tunsias Essid, but he avenged his second-leg defeat against the Tunisian youngster and ultimately sealed the ticket after an impressive 4-0 (16-14, 11-4, 11-8, 11 -4) victory over Saheed Idowu from Congo Brazzaville.

Cameroon's Sarah Hanffou makes her third appearance at the Paris Olympics after the former African champion defeated Nigeria's Fatimo Bello 4-2 (1-11, 11-9, 11-5, 11-9, 10-12, 11- 7) to win the ticket* in the first phase of the qualifying championship.

Nigerian players dominated the qualifying tournament as the trio of Bello, Olajide Omotayo and Offiong Edem picked their spot* at the 2024 Paris Olympics.

It was Edem who entered the draw for Nigeria after beating Tunisia's Fadwa Garci 4-2 (11-9, 8-11, 11-13, 11-1, 11-8, 11-6) to qualify qualify for her fifth Olympic Games. , shown in Athens 2004, London 2012, Rio 2026 and Tokyo 2020.

Like Edem, Omotayo dominated the ticket-deciding match in Paris against Congo Brazzaville's Saheed Idowu with a 4-0 (11-6, 11-4, 12-10, 11-7) victory, securing a spot at his second Olympic Games after he will make his debut at Tokyo 2020.

Bello had to wait for the second stage of the qualifying tournament to seal her place at her first Olympic Games in Paris.

After losing the ticket to Cameroon's Hanffou in the first leg of qualifying, the former West African champion remained undefeated in the second leg and confirmed her flight to Paris with a 4-2 (11-5, 11-7, 11-8, 5-11, 9-11, 11-9) victory over the Algerian Lynda Loghraibi.

A delighted Rakotoarimanana described the ticket as a boost for table tennis in Madagascar. I'm so happy because I can't even express how I feel. I have worked hard for this for two years, and qualifying as the first Malagasy table tennis player for the Olympic Games will certainly help increase interest in the sport and popularize it in my country. This certainly won't be the last time we go to the Olympics, and I think I will train well to compete in Paris with the best players in the world, Rakotoarimanana said.

For Bouloussa, qualifying for the Olympics was a dream, especially since the competition would be held near his home in Paris. I am eagerly looking forward to qualifying for the Olympic Games, as the Games will take place just five minutes from my home in Paris, and I can't wait to be part of it. I was a little disappointed when I couldn't make it to the first stage, but I just had to prepare myself for the second stage, and I'm so excited that I made it all last, said Bouloussa.

*The participation of athletes in the Olympic Games is subject to the selection of their respective National Olympic Committees for representation in Paris 2024, according to their exclusive jurisdiction.




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