There are strong indications that the just concluded Valuejet Para Table Tennis (PTT) Open held at Molade Okoya-Thomas Hall of Teslim Balogun Stadium may be listed on the ITTF event calendar in 2020.
Impressed with the organisation and the standard of play at the maiden edition of the tournament, the ITTF Nomination Committee Chairman and President, ITTF Africa, (Western Region), Wahid Oshodi disclosed that efforts are at foot to convince the world table tennis ruling body to ensure that Nigeria joins the list of countries hosting a major PTT tournament across the globe.
Oshodi, who is the LOC Chairman of Africa’s elite table tennis tournament – Nigeria Open, believes that with the support of Valuejet allied with the experienced personnel in the Nigeria Table Tennis Federation (NTTF), the tournament may be considered for listing next year.
Similarly, President of Africa Table Tennis Federation (ATTF), Khaled El-Salhy, who was in Lagos for the three-day tournament said the continent body is convinced that Nigeria has the wherewithal to stage a befitting international tournament having witnessed what happened last week in Lagos.
“The Valuejet PTT Open will open doors for Para Athletes in Nigeria and in Africa to have a special event with top professional organisation, media coverage and good prize money similar to other world events.,” El-Salhy said.
” ATTF had already opened the link with ITTF to get this tournament listed on the ITTF Calendar for 2020 after checking that all professional standards have been met. We are convinced that Nigeria has big experience in sports and especially table tennis as well.
“I believe it is this that attract sponsors to their events. I will like to use this opportunity to thank the management Valuejet on behalf of ATTF Executive Committee for their efforts to support NTTF and our table tennis family in Africa through the sponsoring of the tournament,” the ATTF boss said.
The Egyptian was also impressed with the turnout of teams across Africa which he said would motivate top-class players to compete at the tournament in the future.
“With what I saw in Lagos that top PTT African players with the large turnout of Nigerian players and high standard of play, I am sure it will start attracting many top players worldwide as soon as it is listed on ITTF calendar, hopefully, next year,” El-Salhy added.