by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
It is a tournament in which Dina Meshref has a most creditable record but the Women’s Singles title remains elusive.
In 2014 she was beaten in the final of the Under 21 Women’s Singles and semi-final of the Women’s Singles event by colleague, Nadeen El-Dawlatly. One year later she won the Under 21 Women’s Singles title but experienced defeat in the Women’s Singles final losing to Portugal’s Shao Jieni.
Likewise, the name of Shao Jieni appears on this year’s entry list; she is the leading name.
Dina Meshref spoke to Olalekan Okusan, the ITTF-Africa Press Officer
“Sometimes the weather in Lagos is not friendly but the atmosphere in the hall is something else. It is the delight of every player to play in such atmosphere as the fans make it more exciting and inspiring.
I am really looking forward to the tournament because I have been unfortunate, having played in the Under 21 Women’s Singles final in 2014 and lost, as well as in the Women’s Singles final in 2015 and also lost. My only consolation was winning the Under 21 title in 2015. However, I am determined to win the title this year.
The Nigeria Open gives African players the opportunity to showcase their talents as well as gain world ranking points; this is good and I am hoping every African player will avail themselves of this rare opportunity to have such tournament being hosted in the continent. There is no doubt that the host country, Nigeria, has potential in the sport and they can make use of the tournament to groom more stars like Quadri Aruna.”
Furthermore, in preparation for the ITTF Challenge Seamaster Nigeria Open, the local organising committee in liaison with the Nigeria Table Tennis Umpires and Referees Committee will organise an umpires’ course on Saturday 5th August.
Impressively 42 umpires have enrolled.