Top athletes within and outside the country are gearing up for the third edition Valuejet Para Table Tennis Open. The championship holds later this month in Lagos.
The three-day championship, which is expected feature players from Benin Republic and Togo, is being organised by the Sunday Odebode Foundation in collaboration with the Nigeria Table Tennis Federation (NTTF) and Lagos State Sports Commission (LSSC).
According to a board member of the NTTF, Anderson Bankole, the event will continue to produce new athletes, especially with upcoming players coming through the ranks and files. Some of them are making it to the top 10 in the latest world ranking.
“I must commend the sponsors of this championship for sustaining the sponsorship this year. I hope our players can make use this tournament to improve themselves.
“We are also hoping that the tournament would get listed by the International Table Tennis Federation in 2022,” he said, adding he was optimistic that some new players would emerge at the end of the competition.
Speaking on the competition, the coordinator, Odebode, said the organisers are making frantic efforts to ensure that the championship is listed by the ITTF as a ranking event.
Meanwhile, former African champion, Isau Ogunkunle, has expressed excitement for the upcoming event, saying he can’t wait any longer to compete again at the top level in front of fans.
“I am so excited that we are having to play another top-class tournament after Tokyo 2020. It was at this same competition we prepared for Tokyo and this time around we have players coming up and it is another chance to show why I am the best in the class,” said the Paralympian.
Another top player, Faith Obazuaye, said, “the tournament has remained the only rallying point for top players in the country. I believe we are using this tournament to get our shape in top form for major events. I must commend the sponsors for keeping faith with the yearly sponsorship. I am looking forward to retaining my title again this year”.