Lagos – Players at the ongoing Toyin Okenla-Ojeage U-17 National Table Tennis Championships on Wednesday in Lagos commended the sponsor for contributing to the development of the sport at the grassroots.
10 states are currently participating at the championships holding at the Molade Okoya-Thomas Indoor Sports Hall, Teslim Balogun Stadium, Lagos.
Some of the players, who spoke to NAN, said that the championships would develop the skills of budding talents.
Taiwo Okaraga, a female player representing Ekiti, described the competition as an eye opener, saying that it was her first time to participate in a national competition.
Okaraga urged the Nigeria Table Tennis Federation (NTTF) to collaborate with private bodies and well meaning individuals to organise more of such competitions.
“This is a good competition; I am happy to be part of my state’s contingent.
“Participating in a national competition will give me more exposure,’’ she said.
Olaniyi Abdulrafiq, a male player from Osun, told NAN that the tournament had provided an avenue for young talents to showcase their skills.
“Competition of this nature is a very good platform for upcoming players to widen their knowledge and showcase their talents,’’ he said.
Tobi Falana, who is representing Kwara in the male category, said that the competition would go a long way to encourage players.
He said that, if such competition was regular, it would help to prepare the country’s athletes for world junior table tennis tournaments.
“More of these competitions should be organised often to prepare young players for international Junior Cadet Championships,’’ he said.
Meanwhile, Akomolafe Sunday of Ondo State defeated Oyenekan Ololade from Lagos by 3-0 in group A, while Idris Zakari from Kogi defeated Wadima Ibrahim from Adamawa by 3-2.
Martins Abayomi from Ekiti lost all the three sets to Falana Tobi from Kwara in Group D, while Oyewusi Sunday defeated Emmanuel Sabo by 3-0.
The championship which stated on March 24 will end on March 29. (NAN)