Things are really looking up for table tennis in Nigeria as youngster Usman Okanlawon has been selected by the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) among the 16 players across the globe for the Hopes Squad.
Okanlawon’s inclusion was based on his superb outing at the 2019 ITTF World Hopes Week and Challenge in Salalah, Oman.
According to Dora Jeler, High Performance and Development Operations Manager, the selection of the players was based on special criteria, in which the coaching team evaluated the players to determine who would be given the opportunity to continue on the Hopes pathway.
“The expansion of the Hopes Pathway means that eight players per gender will be afforded the opportunity to attend further activities as members of the Hopes Squad. Performance in training and competition will determine the selection of the Hopes Team for the 2020 ITTF World Cadet Challenge.
“Selection of the Hopes Squad and the Hopes Team is based on excellence and development, reflecting the basic principles of the ITTF Hopes Programme,” she said.
It is from the 2019 Hopes Squad, the group from which the 2020 Hopes Team will be selected. In addition the selection of the players who with represent the Hopes Team at this year’s ITTF World Cadet Challenge.
The 2019 ITTF World Cadet Challenge will be staged in Wladyslawowo, Poland from Wednesday 23rd to Thursday 31st October.
The players are
Girls: GODA Hana (EGY – Africa), MEI ROSU Bianca (ROU – Europe), GAINTANTZI Lemonia (GRE – Europe), PANDA Sayani (IND – Asia), GAN Ai Lis (MAS – Asia), HORCHART Léana (FRA – Europe), MUNOZ Shary (DOM – Latin America) and 8. SOURI Tara (IRI – Asia)
Boys: KURMANGALIYEV Alan (KAZ – Asia), OPREA Luca (ROU – Europe), OKANLAWON Usman Ishola (NGR – Africa), TRAN Daniel (USA – North America), SHUTOV Nikon (BLR – Europe), TAN Nicholas (SGP – Asia), GHOSH Oishik (IND – Asia) and BAE Won (AUS – Oceania).