BY DANIEL ETCHELLS
Molade Okoya-Thomas Hall of Teslim Balogun will welcome around 70 players from 15 countries for the 2019 International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) African Cup and Club Championships.
The Club Championships will place from July 31 to August 2 and the Cup scheduled to be held from August 3 to 5.
The events will serve as a dress rehearsal for the 2019 African Games, which are set to run from August 19 to 31 in Morocco’s capital Rabat.
According to the President of African Table Tennis Federation (ATTF), Khaled El-Salhy, it was Nigeria’s hosting pedigree which prompted the ATTF Executive Council (EC) to give the West African nation the nod to stage the tournaments.
“Nigeria applied for the bid of hosting such prestigious event on time and the EC found it is a very good chance to bring the event to Lagos just prior to the 2019 ITTF Challenge Plus Nigeria Open in order to give multiple benefit for the African players to play more than one tournament, especially at same venue,” he said.
“Also, it aims to encourage more African players to feature in the Nigeria Open this year.”
El-Salhy expressed his optimism that more players would feature in the tournaments as most would be using them as a tune-up for the 2019 African Games, which serves as a qualifier for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.