Lagos is ready to host Africa’s table tennis family this week, as the Nigerian capital hosts two major continental competitions.
A total of 16 clubs (nine men and seven women) will compete in the African Club Championships from Monday 23rd to Wednesday 25th May.
Meanwhile, 48 players (28 men and 20 women) will be on duty in the Africa Cup from Thursday 26th May to Saturday 28th May.
Venue for both events is the Molade Okoya-Thomas Hall, Teslim Balogun Stadium in Lagos.
Khaled El-Salhy, President of ITTF Africa, declared Lagos the new hub of table tennis on the African continent at a press conference on Sunday 22nd May.
“I must commend the government of Lagos State for what they have done for table tennis. This city has become the hub of table tennis because all players within and outside Africa are always looking forward to competing in Lagos, especially with the huge spectator support in the venue. They come out in large numbers to support the sport and players, regardless of their teams or countries. ITTF now considers Lagos as one of the cities around the world which cannot be ignored when it comes to staging top-class competitions. For us in Africa, we are confident that the state has the capacity to host major international tournaments.” Khaled El-Salhy
El-Salhy thanked the Lagos State government for its commitment to the sport in the last seven years, the backing having helped Africa produce world-class players.
Notably, he described the just-concluded Western Region tournament as a testament to what to expect over the next few days when the Club Championships and Africa Cup commence.
Similarly, Wahid Enitan Oshodi, Chair of the Main Organising Committee (MOC) and ITTF Executive Vice President, stressed that staging top-class tournaments in Lagos would have been impossible without the huge support from the Lagos State government and as well as major sponsors.
“We cannot get to where we are at the world level without the support of the Lagos State government because what we have achieved became reality following their backing. Also, our sponsors played a huge role in where we are today; we hope we can continue to rely on their support.” Wahid Enitan Oshodi
Also, in attendance at the press conference was Engr Ishaku Tikon, President of the Nigeria Table Tennis Federation, alongside Sola Aiyepeku, Chair of the Lagos State Sports Commission (LSSC).
He was of no doubt that table tennis is one of its most important sports because it continues to keep the state on the global map.
“We believe that with what we have been able to achieve with table tennis, we can host the world in other sports. This was made possible with the commitment of the MOC Chairman, Mr. Wahid Enitan Oshodi, whose passion has continued to inspire us to always do more. We are committed to the sport. We thank the ITTF for the confidence reposed in us. We pledge to continue to raise the bar.” Sola Aiyepeku
Follow all the action and results on the website of ITTF Africa.