09 Aug 2017

An impressive entry for the forthcoming 2017 ITTF Challenge Seamaster Nigeria Open; the five day tournament commencing on Wednesday 9th August, Finland’s Benedek Olah, the winner one year ago, faces a difficult task in his quest to retain the title.

Notably, Africa’s top two players, Nigeria’s Quadri Aruna and Egypt’s Omar Assar are both on duty; last year they were absent.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

Furthermore, at the end of last year Benedek Olah underwent surgery and has yet to find the form of 2016. However, for the Finnish star, the atmosphere in Lagos is special; last year he danced the music, maybe this year he will find a rhythm

He spoke to Olalekan Okusan, the ITTF-Africa Press Officer.

“The atmosphere at the hall was legendary because I have never seen such a lively and fun packed table tennis tournament as I saw in Lagos last year. Particularly the music interlude in between matches was inspiring to us as players. I am eagerly looking forward to the tournament; I am also worried because of a nasty elbow injury which has not allowed me to train 100 percent.

I must say that it is not going to be easy to retain the title this year with the presence of the mighty Quadri Aruna whom I think he is very talented player. So it is not going to be easy at all but I am hoping that the Lagos fans will support me again this year just like they did in 2016.

Also, I am hoping that the right music will be played during the tournament that will put me in the right frame of mind for every game!

When I came to Nigeria in 2016, I was not expecting that I will win but the right atmosphere was put in place by the organiser coupled with the huge support from the crowd made it possible for me to win. It was fun for me and I was so excited because I felt the crowd was enjoying my game so much 100 percent.”

Challenge Series 2017 ITTF Challenge Lagos (Nigeria) 2017 Nigeria Open Benedek Olah

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Day 3 - 2017 ITTF Challenge Seamaster Nigeria Open

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