Competition began yesterday at the Nigeria Table Tennis Federation (NTTF) National Championships with the preliminary round at the Molade Okoya-Thomas Hall of Teslim Balogun Stadium.

One of the cadet players leading Ondo State’s challenge at the championship is Taiwo Mati, who hopes that his state will finish among the top four in the male singles event. He promised to do better his recent performance at the National Sports Festival in Benin City, Edo State.

“I have positive feelings about this tournament because I have been training and working hard. I am sure I will perform very well to help Ondo State to the top four at the end of the championships.

“At the National Sports Festival, I lost in the first round, but I tried not to let that weigh me down. I have made some amendments to my game with my coach and it showed at the just concluded Aso Championship in Abuja, where I lost in the final,” Mati said.

Meanwhile, the Lagos State Sports Commission (LSSC) has projected that more talents would be unearthed at the championship organised in conjunction with the Lagos State government.

LSSC Executive Chairman, Sola Aiyepeku, who lauded Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu for his continued support for sports development in the state, said the state was excited with the return of the championship after the famous Nigeria Open was cancelled in 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We expect that many talents will come from this tournament and like you heard, there are many cadres of competition here.

So, we expect new talents and for us in Lagos, this is what we have been saying about creating a circuit of events in every sport.

“This is a national tournament and the international one will come later in the year, which the governor has already approved.”

In between this, we will be having more domestic tournaments because that is the only way we can up the competition,” he stated.

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