Olympics debutant, Fatima Bello on Wednesday, said that her dream is to make an appreciable impact at the upcoming 2024 Paris Olympics.

Bello, a 2023 African Games silver medalist gave the assurance in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos while speaking on her preparations for the games.

NAN reports that Bello secured a ticket to represent the country in the table tennis event of theat the African qualifiers held in Rwanda.

The 26-year-old achieved the feat after defeating Algeria’s Lynda Loughrabi 4-2 in the final round of qualifiers at BK Arena in Kigali.

Bello during the qualifiers picked the first three sets against the Algerian, but slipped as her opponent recovered on time to claim the fourth and fifth sets.

The power forehand specialist, Bello then produced a hand on serve to win the sixth set and the seventh round of the best-of-seven match.

Bello said that her journey to stardom in table tennis was made possible by her father and siblings.

“Special thanks to my dad and my brother for pushing me hard to be what I am in table tennis today.

“At first, I was not much into table tennis but they and other players encouraged me to play in which I did.

“My first experience at the African Cup 2022 was a great one, though I had to train hard to make a mark at the tournament which to me was not an easy one.

“To be honest, I didn’t expect that I will go that far because the competition was my first major one,” she said.

Bello said that it was her time to make impact at the Olympics.

“I am aware of the task ahead at the Olympics where there are more Stars competing, and I am not ready to go there because of numbers but to make impact.

“Many of the senior players have been talking to me and advising me and I am grateful for their support.


“ I am more familiar with the terrain now because I took a longer route to qualify for the Olympics.

“I thank my coach for the support in my journey to qualify and other teammates. For the Olympics I need to train more so as to get to where I dream.

“I need to give myself enough rest to make sure that I am in top shape ahead of the Olympics, because I want to make my country proud at the Olympics,” she said. (NAN)