Nigeria’s flagbearers at the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) World Tour, tagged Kuwait Open, Aruna Quadri and Kazeem Makanjuola will on Wednesday February 12 begin their campaigns at the five-day tournament.
The unseeded duo of Quadri and Makanjuola will compete in the qualifying round made up of three players in each group with the top player making it to the main draw of the competition.
As the tournament serves off on Wednesday February 12 at the Salwa Sporting Club with over 243 players drawn from 33 countries taking part in the five-day $210,000 prize money championship.
Also the Nigerians will jostle for honours in the doubles event alongside other top players.
Makanjuola, who is optimistic of creating an upset, promises not to disappoint in his maiden outing in an ITTF World Tour, said, “I am so happy that I am taking part in my first World Tour and for me this is another opportunity to prove myself. I am targeting that I will qualify from the group and also defeat some of the top players in the competition. I am eager to better my performance with this championship.”
For Portugal-based Quadri, who last week inspired G. D. Toledos to retain the Portuguese Cup, believes attending the championship would help them to shape up for this year’s Commonwealth Games holding in Scotland.
“This is good that we are taking part in top class tournament and I am sure that this will also serve as a build up to the Commonwealth Games. We are hopeful that we will take part in more of this for us to be in good shape for the Commonwealth Games. I am in top form for now and I am hoping to do well in Kuwait and also improve on this at the Qatar Open,” the 2011 All Africa Games medalist said.
The Kuwait Open is the first super series to be staged this year with this year’s entry exceeding the 193 players recorded in 2010.
The men’s doubles could well witness over 60 pairings and the Women’s Doubles some 35 partnerships.