Hundreds of players across the country are expected to battle for the 18 titles at stake in the maiden Nigeria Table Tennis Federation (NTTF) National Championships scheduled for November.
Also, table tennis action will return to the Indoor Hall of the National Stadium in Lagos as the venue will host the six-day championship expected to throw up talents for the country.
Senior, junior, cadet, para and veteran athletes are expected to compete for the diadems at stake at the championships.
According to the Tournament Director, John Peters, singles and doubles events would be part of the tournament while singles events will be the major focus in all the categories.
“This is another opportunity for our players to showcase their skills as well as play themselves into the national teams. After the sterling performance of Aruna Quadri at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, it is clear to us that with more efforts we can produce more Quadris that will stun the world.
“This national championship is another platform that our players have to prove their mettle and we are set to ensure that it is of high standard. Also, we are adding that para events in order to give more of the special athletes to exhibit their talents so that we can have more of them making it to the Paralympic Games,” Peters said.
Peters, who was one of the umpires that handled proceedings at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games said that that deadline of registration of teams and players for the championship is scheduled for October 31while the championship holds on November 15 to 19.
President of NTTF, Wahid Oshodi stressed that the tournament is meant to complement efforts being made by the federation to unearth talents as well as engage the players in order to keep them active for major competitions.
“The tournament is meant to complement our efforts at ensuring the players are in top shape at all times. The federation is also seeking the next generation of national team players at both senior and junior levels.
“We must have players ready to challenge and take over from the likes of Segun Toriola. Our junior team has done exceedingly well over the last couple of years but we have discovered new very young players at our U-16 League and during the Premier Lotto Nigeria Open and this will be another opportunity for our coaches to assess them.
“We need to keep the players busy. We still have a busy schedule after the Olympics till the end of the year with the African Senior Championships, World Junior Championships, Clubs League, second phase of the U-16 League and the President’s Cup. So we must continue our development and ensure we have programmes to develop our players, coaches, administrators and umpires,” the NTTF boss said.