by Olalekan Okusan, ITTF-Africa Press Officer
Furthermore, the 26 year old former national champion is very positive with regards to the importance of the tournament. He believes it is a platform for African players, a chance for the continent to test their skills against their European counterparts.
“I have featured in three editions of the Nigeria Open and I can tell you that the tournament can rival any tournament in Europe in terms of organization and promotion. For us in Africa, we are proud to have such a tournament that gives us the opportunity to play against some of the top European players. Nigeria and Lagos specifically is Africa’s home of table tennis because the fans understand the sport and this prompts them to support the players regardless of nationality. I enjoy every moment I spend playing in Lagos.” Olalekan Okusan
In the two most recent editions, Felix Lartey has progressed through the qualifications stage to reserve a main draw place; now the Ghana Immigration Service Officer hopes to set a new standard for his country at an ITTF Challenge Tour tournament.
“The Nigeria Open has given me the chance to assess myself as a player, I will be happy to make it to the quarter-final this year as the first Ghanaian to make it to the last eight of an ITTF-title tournament. Aside from the quality of organization and promotion, the Nigeria Open has given players like me the opportunity to improve my game.” Felix Lartey
Present at several tournaments in Africa, Felix Lartey is well aware that the 2018 ITTF Challenge Seamaster Nigeria Open is a good advertisement for Africa.
“I can categorically say that the Nigeria Open is far better than any tournament in Africa because the quality of organization and players that take part in the competition attest to the fact that it has become one of the cherished tournaments in Africa.” Felix Lartey
Equally, Felix Lartey is well aware that the host nation will be very much in line for honours.
“Nigeria has talented players and many times some of us visit Nigeria to train with their players. Also, the atmosphere in the venue of the Nigeria Open is another motivation for a player because it is always electrifying playing at the Molade Okoya-Thomas Hall. There is the continuous support from the Lagos fans.” Felix Lartey
Undoubtedly, Felix Lartey is motivated; good performances and the goal set may well be realised.