Following the decision by the African Table Tennis Federation (ATTF) to award the host right of the 2022 World Championships regional qualification, African Club Championships, and African Cup to Lagos State, the chairman of the Lagos State Sports Commission (LSSC) Sola Aiyepeku has said the aquatic city is ready to stage a befitting tournament in line with the ideals of becoming the continent’s sports hub.
Aiyepeku who is also a member of the ATTF-appointed Main Organising Committee (MOC) believes the state would continue to impress the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) by raising the standard of its competition annually.
“We are an experienced state having staged several international tournaments in the past and this has encouraged the ITTF and ATTF to see the state as the qualified city for this year’s tournament. For nine days, we will have the best players across Africa coming to Lagos to compete as well as enjoy the hospitality of the good people of Lagos,” he said.
Aiyepeku said Lagos has become the home of table tennis in Africa, especially with the quality of organization the state has put up in the past events. “Apart from the organization which is always top-notch, the enthusiasm of fans that most times thronged the venue to watch the stars showcasing their talents has made the state a place to be for major sporting events. We have the personnel as well as the infrastructure to host the event and we hope that we can continue to raise the bar in Africa, we believe that all our visitors will enjoy the tourism potential of the state even as they are coming to compete in tournaments,” he added.
From May 19 to 28, the Molade Okoya-Thomas Hall of Teslim Balogun Stadium will host the three tournaments with the World Championships regional qualification for West African teams kick-starting the tournament on May 19 to 21 while the African Club Championships follow on May 23 to 25. The African Cup which is a singles tournament will climax the event on May 26 to 28.
For the African Cup, each participating country will nominate two players each in men’s and women’s events while the host country will nominate four players each for the tournament.
The nine-man MOC will be chaired by ITTF Vice President, Wahid Oshodi and he will be assisted by the President of Cote d’Ivoire Table Tennis Federation, Prof. Alfred Germain Karou.