Over 170 players from 27 countries have been registered to participate in this year’s ITTF Challenge Nigeria Open, billed for August 8 to 12 at Teslim Balogun Stadium, Lagos.
The competition, which will also feature debuting players from eight countries, will for the first time in its five-year history have a Chinese player competing for the prize money of $46,000.
England, Denmark, Norway, Thailand, Slovenia, Iran and Mauritius will also make their debuts at the competition, which has the second highest prize money in the ITTF Challenge Series.
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Overall, European countries dominated the entries with 13 nations heading to Lagos, among which are Norway, Russia, Scotland, Denmark, England, Slovenia, Italy, Hungary, Romania, France, Finland, Luxembourg and Holland.
China lead Asia along with India, Iran and Thailand while South America has Brazil, Colombia and Argentina, with hosts Nigeria heading Africa’s entries that also have Mauritius, Congo, DR Congo, Ghana, Egypt and South Africa.
Chairman of the local organising committee, Waheed Enitan Oshodi said the competition had lifted the sport on the continent, considering that the 2017 edition attracted 148 players from 22 countries.
Oshodi said: “This year has the largest number of top 100 players across both male and female categories.
“The entries we have received are more than the previous editions and that shows that the competition is gaining more recognition and changing the fortunes of table tennis in Africa.
“There will be more top quality performances and a greater attention to details in meeting ITTF standards.
“The fans will have a swell time watching these top players compete for honours along with the best players from Nigeria.”
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