Players competing at the second edition of the annual Valuejet Para Table Tennis Open have started boasting as the three-day championship officially kicks off tomorrow at the Molade Okoya-Thomas Hall of Teslim Balogun Stadium.
With today’s registration deadline, some of the players that are already in Lagos for the tournament believe they would want to end the challenging 2020 on a good note.
From Victor Farinloye to Olufemi Alabi who are Tokyo 2021 bound, the battle for the top prize is becoming tough with the emergence of new players from outside Lagos.
Farinloye who qualified for Tokyo 2021 Paralympic Games following his triumph in the men’s class eight at the 2019 African qualifiers in Egypt, is eager to affirm his supremacy in the country.
For Olufemi Alabi, it is battle to finish in the men’s class 9-10 with keen competition from Tajudeen Agunbiade.
“I am happy that we are having this kind of tournament to end the year particularly this 2020 that has been challenging due to the COVID-19 pandemic which has prevented us from competing internationally.
“But with the staging of this tournament we are happy that the sponsors and organisers are keeping faith and I am looking forward to showing my class in the competition. Also to show that my qualification was not a fluke,” Farinloye said.
However, Alabi, a gold medallist at Sydney 2000 Paralympic Games is excited that they are competing again after the lockdown which prevented them from competing both locally and internationally.
“1I am excited that we are competing again particularly in this trying year.
It will surely put us in good shape going into the year of the Paralympic Games. I know my class is tougher and this will surely bring out the best in us. But I am sure I won’t disappoint my fans,” Alabi said.
The Coordinator of the tournament, Sunday Odebode, this year’s entries have been overwhelming despite being a national event.