by Olalekan Okusan, ITTF-Africa Press Offcer
The venue for the tournament is the 3,500 capacity Salle Polyvalente Du Parc Des Sports De Treichville; host for the 2017 Francophone Games and 2018 ITTF African Cadet and Junior Championships.
According to the Tournament Director, Professor Germain Karou, who is also the President of the Ivory Coast Table Tennis Federation, all is set for the competition, the final entry date being Sunday 20th October.
“We hope that this tournament will be a very successful one and that the Ivorian people and region will have opportunity to discover the best players from the region. We expect 40 players from 10 countries competing in the men and women singles events. We are expecting 10 countries out of the 15 countries in the region, while about 40 players will be in Abidjan for this tournament.
Hosting the tournament means a lot to the national association. It is another great opportunity that will to stimulate the development table tennis and win more people to the sport in our country. Hosting this competition is a great opportunity for the country to showcase its talents and raise the profile of the sport.” Germain Karou
Meanwhile, for the Deputy Secretary General, Kanate Al, the staging of the tournament will help to showcase the expertise of the Ivory Coast in handling international event.
“We thank International Table Tennis Federation, the African Federation and the President of the West African region for the confidence in us staging the tournament. We hope to use this tournament to show our ability in organising an international event particularly being the maiden edition of the regional tournament. By hosting the first edition of the regional table tennis championship, Ivory Coast is on the map of West Africa as a leading player. The stakes involved in the organisation of this competition are numerous and that is why we have made every effort to make it a memorable one for the players.
Apart from putting up good organisation, we want to show our ability as a top table tennis playing nation in the region and that is why we have sent our players on training tour of France in order to make it to the podium at the event.” Kanate Ali
Likewse, for the President of the ITTF Africa, Western Region, Wahid Oshodi, the staging of the tournament would help to build close relationship among the participating teams.
“We are grateful to ITTF and ATTF for their support and we are hoping that we can use this tournament to bring the countries in the region together and forge ahead in growing the sport. We are expecting fireworks in Abidjan and I am confident that the host nation will put up a good show. I am hoping that more teams in the region will register and be part of the competition.” Wahid Oshodi