Birmingham 2022: Covid-19 stops Ofili in athletics, India knocks out Nigeria in table tennis

Team Nigeria medal hopeful Favour Ofili will not be participating in the 100 metres track and field event of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games after failing to fully recover from Covid-19.

The athletics event starts tomorrow in Birmingham and 19-year-old Ofili had been tipped to shine in the women’s 100m race.

However, she has been ruled out because she did not test negative for Covid-19 tonight after having been in isolation since testing positive upon her arrival from her United States of America base at the weekend.

The Louisiana State University sprinter is Nigeria’s fastest woman over 100m this year with the 9.93 seconds she ran in April.

Ofili is also the Nigerian national record holder in the 200m with the 21.96s she produced this year, and she will be a big miss in Birmingham if she fails to recover in time for other races.

Joy Udo-Gabriel, who was a member of the Team Nigeria 4x100m quartet at the World Athletics Championships in Oregon, will replace Ofili in the 100m, joining Grace Nwokocha and Rosemary Chukwuma.

Also in Birmingham tonight, Nigeria got beaten 3-0 by India in the semi-finals of the men’s table tennis team event.

The Indian pair of Hermeet Desai and Sathiyan Gnanasekaran beat Nigeria’s Bode Abiodun and Olajide Omotayo 3-0 (11-8, 11-7, 11-7) in the doubles match.

In Singles 1, world No.12 and Commonwealth No.2 Quadri Aruna could not bring Team Nigeria level, losing 1-3 to Sharath Achanta (9-11, 11-7, 8-11, 13-15).

Gnanasekaran then outclassed Omotayo 3-1 (11-9, 4-11, 11-8, 11-8) to seal the final spot for India, where they will face Singapore, who beat England in the second semi-final.

Nigeria will play England in the bronze medal match tomorrow.

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