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Gathering of World Stars as WTT serves off in Lagos

Posted : 19 June 2024

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For five days, the commercial nerve center of Nigeria, Lagos, will be on the world map as the WTT Contender Lagos kicks off at the Molade Okoya-Thomas Hall of Teslim Balogun Stadium.

The tournament, which continues to attract quality players from across the globe, is the first WTT Series in sub-Saharan Africa. One of the most exciting Contender events in the WTT calendar, it will witness the convergence of players from India, South Korea, Germany, China, Cameroon, Egypt, Benin Republic, Ghana, Algeria, Denmark, and many others.

According to the Event Director, Kweku Tandoh, what started in 2013 has metamorphosed into a global tournament that has continued to put Lagos on the table tennis world map.

“This is the second WTT Contender Lagos Series, but to get here, we started in 2013 as the Lagos International Table Tennis Classics that ran for about two years. After the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) recognized and approved the event, it became the ITTF Nigeria Open, which ran for another 5 or 6 years.

"The only year we didn’t hold the event was during the Covid-19 era, and by the grace of God, we reached the level of WTT Contender, which is a series of events organized by the ITTF.

"One other thing we need to realize is that this tournament is coming weeks before the Olympics.

"So, it serves as good preparation for many of the players who are coming.

"A lot of international players have included the tournament as part of their training program. We look forward to an exciting table tennis tournament, and we want to invite everyone to be part of it," he said.

In his remarks, the LOC Chairman and ITTF Vice President, Wahid Enitan Oshodi, said the uniqueness of the tournament distinguishes it from others across the globe.

“This is Lagos, and like I always tell you, it’s different not because we have the greatest hall in the world, but because we have the greatest fans in the world.

"I would like to say thank you to the fans and a big thank you to the media because they tell the world what we are doing. They’ve been supportive over the years, especially in the last 12 to 13 years that we’ve been doing this.

"As the Vice President of ITTF, I have relied on their support over the years, and I must say a very big thank you to them."

For Bryce Goh, the WTT Event and Experience Manager, the tournament will allow young players to rub shoulders with the world’s best.

“I’m looking forward to a great tournament, and I say a big thank you, not just to the organizing committee but to everyone who contributed to this great tournament because the event would not be a success without everyone.

"This tournament also serves as an opportunity for young players in Nigeria to present themselves on the world stage and take a step up to the next level.

"I’m happy to see a lot of Nigerian players who are taking part in the competition.”


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