The Main Organising Committee (MOC) of the first Lagos International Table Tennis Classics, which will serves off with preliminaries for Nigerian players on August 22 at Molade Okoya-Thomas Hall of Teslim Balogun Stadium.
With South Africa being the last nation to register for the tournament, the MOC listed others as Chinese Taipei, Cameroun, Congo Brazzaville, Congo DRC, Cote d’Ivoire, Egypt, Ghana, Lithuania, Senegal, Tunisia and Italy, while South Africa’s flag will be flown by Luke Abraham.
The MOC also listed 32 players for the main draw in the men’s singles, while 16 were listed in the women’s singles.
In he boys’ junior main draw, 16 players were listed, while eight were listed in the girls’ single junior event.
For the men’s singles, 32 players that will emerge from the qualifiers for the Nigerian players will make it to the main draw, while 16 will join the women in the main draw as well.
As the venue of the tournament now wears new look, Nigerian players competing in the qualifiers will commence hostilities on Thursday August 22 to 23 to decide those that will make it the main draw, which will serve off on Monday August 26.
Meanwhile, Nigeria’s Seun Ajetunmobi has said that he hopes to give his best in the championship, after been handed a wildcard to the main draw.
The Portugal-based southpaw player, who has been described as one of the skillful players in Africa, is yet to utilize his potentials, believes Nigeria would see the best of him at the Classics.
“I know so many people are still doubting my ability but I will use this competition to prove myself that I am still relevant. I know it is going to be a tall order for us especially Nigerian players but I know we will deliver. As long as I want to win the tournament, I am aware of the task ahead and I will take every game as they come,” Ajetunmobi said.
Former Nigerian national player, Sawu Ayemojuba has also expressed his intention to be part of the tournament and he is expected to compete in the qualifiers.
The Belgium-based player, who last featured for Nigeria in the early 2000s, is hoping to use the tournament to affirm his relevance in the game.
For Italy-based coach, Michael Oyebode, the tournament would surely afford the country to relaunch itself back among the top table tennis playing nations. He specifically, said that it would also help the players to assess themselves against their foreign counterparts.