• Advises Oshonaike to quit the sport for youngsters
Former table tennis champion, Atanda Musa, has described the number of coaches assigned to handle emerging talents was inadequate, saying the country will not make any meaningful impact in internationally with that number.
Musa said retired stars should be employed to help the young players reach their full potential.
Speaking to The Guardian, yesterday, Musa said his last visit to the country gave him an insight into the country’s abundant talents and the need to tutor the young athletes in the right step to success in the sport.
“I must be frank with you, I believe this country still has abundant talents in table tennis, who can be groomed and nurtured to greatness. These youngsters only need to be coached properly to achieve their potential.
“At the Asoju Oba Cup that I watched, I noticed athletes in the cadet and intermediary events, who are very good. I found out, however, that there were inadequate coaches to help them learn from their mistakes and move on to become better players,” he said.
Musa, now based in the United States, said he is open to work with the national team, adding, “What I will do if that happens is to engage some former internationals, who I know will tutor and guide these youngsters to become international stars.
“This is exactly what the Egyptians did when they employed former stars to train their talented youngsters to stardom. It is something we can replicate here if we are to reclaim our position in Africa.”
The former Olympian advised the country’s record holder in appearances at the Games, Olufunke Oshonaike, to quit the sport and help groom the younger ones to stardom.
“My candid opinion is that Funke should leave the stage now and allow upcoming ones to get exposure.
“As at the time I retired from the sport despite being very active, I left the game to over 20 athletes, who were playing at the same level with me. And the players continued the domination of the sport from where I stopped. I had to give way so that the youngsters can also be exposed to international events,” he stated.