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2023 World Table Tennis tournament opens in Lagos

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No fewer than 50 male and female players are training in Lagos ahead of the 2023 World Table Tennis Tournament scheduled to hold from June 12 to June 18.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that table tennis players from about 15 countries are expected in Lagos for the tournament.

The tournament is coming on the heels of the just-concluded first ITTF World Championships in Africa since 1939.

It is expected to afford players the opportunity to garner ranking points in their quest to pick tickets to Paris 2024 Olympic Games in France.

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Top seven players listed for the tournament included former world number one.

Also top rated players from top table tennis playing nations like China, Chinese Taipei, Germany, India and a host of others are expected in Lagos for the epic event.

The National Table Tennis Coach, Nosiru Bello, told NAN that the tournament was slated for the Molade Okoya Thomas Indoor Sports Hall, Teslim Balogun Stadium Surulere, Lagos.

He also said that world top rank players from countries like China, Japan and Korea would feature at the tournament that would be hosted for the first time by Nigeria.

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He said the tournament would also feature some of the top players in the world.

“Some of them have heard of our players but have not met or played with them; this is an opportunity for us to show them what we have got.

“This is an opportunity for our players to give their contenders a tough time and for them also to witness Nigeria’s Ping-Pong game,” he said.

According to Bello, preparations are in top gear as the Nigerian playesr are upbeat and in high spirit for the event.

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“The players are rigorously preparing for the World Table Tennis tournament. Both male and female athletes are fully prepared for the championship.

“I can tell you that we can confidently meet up to standard of other players coming from different countries,” he said.

Bello said that that expectations were high, adding that the Nigerian contingent to the tournament “will not disappoint Nigerians.”

He told NAN that all Nigerian players, including the new ones, would do their best in different categories of the game.

“The new ones are also prepared to give the world class players tough time and also showcase their talents.

“It is then we will now know where to start again. For them, this is like an examination because there is no way you will be teaching students all round the year and won’t set examination for them,” he added.

Bello said that the tournament would also determine the strength of each player including weaknesses that needed to be worked on.

(NAN)

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