The 2021 Nigeria Table Tennis Federation (NTTF) National Championships will serve off on 18 May at the Molade Okoya-Thomas Hall of the Teslim Balogun Stadium, the NTTF have announced.
The tournament which would serve as another test for home-based players will be contested by states and clubs across the country from 18 to 22 May 18.
It will feature 12 events and be open for professionals and veterans above 50 years.
According to the prospectus, players will compete for honours in the men’s and women’s categories of the team, singles, doubles, mixed doubles, U21, cadet and veterans singles above 50.
Also, world number one U11 cadet player Musa Mustapha and his brother Mustapha will be in Lagos for the tournament.
NTTF Technical Director who also doubles as the Tournament Director, Adesoji Tayo said the tournament would help to unearth new talents following the exploits of some junior players at the 20th National Sports Festival in Benin City.
“We are excited that new players are coming on board particularly with what happened in Edo where Amadi Omeh who beyond all expectations emerged as the new national sports festival champion,” he said. “Who could have imagined that such a player who recently graduated from junior to senior will defeat some of the established players to win the tournament.
“This has again shown us that with more competitions like this, we can more several players coming through to upstage the established ones. We also want to use the tournament to re-enact the atmosphere synonymous with the Nigeria Open which was cancelled in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic and we hope to bring back the atmosphere with this tournament as players across the countries are expected to be part of the five-day event with mouth-watering prize money,” Tayo said.
He added that the U21 and cadet events have been included in the national championships to give room for upcoming players to showcase their prowess against their counterparts while technical officials would be on the ground to identify talents that will form the bulk of the national junior team.
Tayo added that the idea of the veterans was to encourage social clubs across the country to be part of the table tennis fiesta.
Already, the Lagos State Sports Commission (LSSC) has expressed its readiness to host the tournament.
Veteran referee John Peters has been named as the tournament referee while ITTF-certified Competition Manager, Segun Peters will handle the draw proceedings at the championships.