By Femi Solaja
From the conduct and display of players at the 52nd Asoju Oba Molade Okoya-Thomas Table Tennis Cup, it was clear that the participants were excited over the decision to stage this year’s edition amidst the Covid-19 pandemic.
Fans within Surulere area of Lagos State came out in hundreds to watch the action-packed tournament while the Covid-19 protocols were duly observed and today, defending champions Bose Odusanya and David Fayele will be tested in their quest to retain their titles.
48 men and 25 women registered for the two-day tournament held at the Molade Okoya-Thomas Hall of Teslim Balogun Stadium under the technical guidance of the Lagos State Table Tennis Association (LSSTA).
According to the Chief Referee of the tournament, Ranti Lajide, the excitement shown by the players coupled with the turnout of fans was a testament of interests in the tournament.
“I am so surprised that fans are still eager to watch table tennis matches despite the Covid-19 pandemic. Also, I must commend the family of the late Chief Molade Okoya-Thomas for deciding to stage this year’s edition despite the pandemic.
“The players are happy that they are competing again and I hope we can have new players emerging from this year’s edition. The enthusiasm of the players coupled with the standard of play, I am sure we can have a new face coming out from the tournament which has continued to groom world stars in the status of Olajide Omotayo who now plays for the senior national team,” Lajide said.