There is no doubt that Nigeria’s men team is the team to watch out for in Birmingham. Apart from their antecedents in the games, they have some of the finest players from Africa led by world number 12 Quadri Aruna.
Listed as the number two seed in the men’s team event for the games, Aruna and the trio of Bode Abiodun, Olajide Omotayo and debutant Amadi Omeh have all the quality to humble any team in Birmingham, but they have to be at their best against England which is the top seed as well as star-studded India who has legendary Sharath Kamal Achanta, the 2004 Melbourne Champion as well as Sathiyan Gnanasekaran.
Already, the Nigerian team has been handed an easy draw against Ghana, South Africa, and Cyprus in the first round.
The youthful Singapore team would not be a pushover following the retirement of some of their top players. A possible semi final clash among these four top teams is likely in Birmingham.
The women’s team will be aiming to progress from the group after being drawn with Singapore and England as well as little-known St Vincent and The Grenadines in the first round.
Considered as outsiders among the top four teams in the women’s event, it will take some effort from the players to beat Singapore and England to the top spot in the group.
On August 1 and 2, the medalists will emerge for all to see in the team event.
In the singles event, Quadri Aruna is top seed and he will face stern tests from England’s Liam Pitchford, India’s Sathiyan Gnanasekaran, both players have been active in the last two months on the WTT Tour.