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Lagos agog as WTT Contender Serves off

Lagos agog as WTT Contender Serves off

Nigeria’s commercial capital, Lagos, takes centrestage in the table tennis world for the next five days as the WTT Contender Lagos serves off at the Molade Okoya-Thomas Hall of the Teslim Balogun Stadium.

The tournament, which attracts quality players from across the globe, is the first WTT Series in sub-Saharan Africa and one of the most exciting Contender events in the WTT calendar.

Already, players from India, South Korea, Germany, China, Cameroon, Egypt, Benin Republic, Ghana, Algeria, Denmark, among others, are in Lagos, poised to do battle on the table.

According to the Event Director, Kweku Tandoh, what started in 2013 as a classics meet has metamorphosed into a global tournament, which brings the world to Lagos, cementing the city’s repute as a major sports-hosting destination in Africa.

Tandoh said: “This is the second WTT Contender Lagos Series but to get here, we started in 2013 as the Lagos International Table Tennis Classics, which ran for about two years.

“After the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) recognized and approved the event, it became the ITTF Nigeria Open, which ran for another 5 or 6 years.

“The only year we didn’t hold the event was during COVID-19 and by the grace of God, we got to the level of WTT Contender, which is the series of events organised by the ITTF.

“This tournament is coming weeks before the Olympics. So, it serves as a good preparation for many of the players here. A lot of international players have included the tournament as part of their training programme. We look forward to an exciting tournament and we invite everyone to be part of it.”

In his remarks, the LOC Chairman and ITTF Vice President, Wahid Enitan Oshodi, said the uniqueness of the WTT Contender Lagos distinguished it from others across the globe.

“This is Lagos. It’s different not because we have the greatest hall in the world. What we have is the greatest fans in the world. I would like to say thank you to the fans and the media because they tell the world what we are doing. They’ve been supportive over the years, especially in the last 12 to 13 years that we’ve been doing this. As the Vice President of ITTF, they lifted us up over the years and I must say a very big thank you to them,” Oshodi said.

For Bryce Goh, the WTT Event and Experience Manager, the tournament would afford young players to rub shoulders with the world’s best.

Goh said: “I’m looking forward to a great tournament and I say a big thank you, not just to the Organizing Committee, but to everyone who contributed to this because the event would not be a success without everyone.

“This tournament also serves as an opportunity for young players in Nigeria to present themselves on the world stage and step up to the next level. I’m happy to see a lot of Nigerian players taking part in the competition.”

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