169 players made up of 101 men and 68 women will compete in six events at the much-anticipated ITTF Challenge Seamaster Nigeria Open beginning Wednesday, August 8 at the Molade Okoya-Thomas Hall of Teslim Balogun Stadium.
Heavyweights including world number 18, Nigeria’s Aruna Quadri and others from 26 countries including host – Nigeria will battle for a share of the $46,000 tournament prize money at the five-day competition which has become Africa’s elite tournament sanctioned by the world table tennis ruling body – International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF).
At the press briefing to herald the commencement of the championship, the Tournament Director, Kweku Tandoh, described this year’s tournament has the biggest so far while adding that with the quality of the organization, players across the globe are now willing to be part of the championship.
“We are so excited that the tournament is growing each year and this year we have more countries and players and for us, this goes to show that we are raising and we will continue to do that as long as we are getting the needed support particularly the huge support from our title sponsor – Baba Ijebu and host – Lagos State Government. Everything is set and for the next five days, people will watch the best of table tennis made in Lagos,” Tandoh said.
The Competition Manager, Mounir Bessah, lauded the LOC for always adding colour to the tournament while hoping that more players would be willing to be part of it in future. “I am happy with the organization and ITTF believes the LOC has done a lot to raise the profile of this tournament and I can see improvement every year,” Bessah added.
For the President of Nigeria Table Tennis Federation (NTTF), Ishaku Tikon, the host – Lagos State has indeed put Nigeria on the global map by providing the platform for the tournament to thrive.
“We will remain grateful to Lagos State Government for their unflinching support at ensuring that this tournament gets the needed attention globally. We hope others can take a cue from them”.