India, Uganda, Nigeria, others to compete in this Year ITTF Lagos Para Open

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India, the Commonwealth Games champion, Kenya, Uganda, Benin Republic, Togo, South Africa, and Nigeria itself have been revealed to be among the teams that will compete at this year’s ValueJet ITTF Lagos Para Open.

The competition will be place at Surulere, Lagos’ Teslim Balogun Stadium’s Molade Okoya-Thomas Hall from October 12 to 14.

The competition has been fully sanctioned by the organisation that governs table tennis worldwide, according to Sunday Odebode, chairman of the local organising committee (LOC), and it has also assisted Nigeria in developing more top players.

Odebode emphasised that the bulk of the athletes who qualified for the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games at the most recent African Championships held in Giza, Egypt are a result of the competition, and that more players would emerge as most of them are Africans.

“We are so happy that the tournament is now Factor 20 on ITTF calendar, which means players aiming to qualify for the Paralympic Games can come and compete and pick the necessary points to shore up their ranking.

“Now that it is fully sanctioned by ITTF, we are hopeful that more countries will identify with the tournament in near future.

“For this year, we have six countries including Nigeria competing and we are going to have the singles, mixed doubles and doubles events to prepare the players ahead of the Paralympic Games,” Odebode who is also the President of Paralympic Committee of Nigeria (PCN) said.

Pablo Perez, the manager of ITTF Para Events and Classification, praised the tournament’s organisers for providing a platform for the growth of the athletes and the game in his remarks.

According to him, “I am so excited that this tournament has continued to improve the Nigerian players and this was reflected in their performance at the just concluded African Championships where nine of them qualified for the Paralympic Games in Paris next year.

“I can see that more players are coming through and this is the result of regular tournaments for players and this has confirmed Nigeria as the best in Africa and one of the top teams in the world.

“I am so excited returning to Nigeria again and I hope that more teams and countries will be coming to be part of the tournament following the exploits of Nigerian players in major competitions across the world.”

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