Molade Okoya-Thomas Hall of Teslim Balogun Stadium will today come alive as Nigerian players begin hostilities in the qualifiers for places in main draw of the first Lagos International Table Tennis Classics.
According to the Competition Manager, John Peters, 128 players will compete in the men’s qualifiers, while 48 will jostle for spots in the women event.
To ensure that all the participating players have equal chance to make it to the main draw, the players in the men’s singles event have been drawn into 32 groups made up of four players in each group. The players with highest point in each group will secure a place in the main draw.
“We want to ensure that the players rested themselves and to ascertain that the best make it to the main draw, all the players in the group will play one another with player with the highest point making it to the main draw. This will also apply to the women and junior events.
But in the women event, the groups are 16, while we also have 16 in the boys’ junior while girls’ junior have eight groups,” he said.
More than 20 states across the country will take part in the qualifiers, while over 10 clubs will also be part of the tournament.
Meanwhile, the Main Organising Committee (MOC) has confirmed that 16 countries will be part of the championship with the main draw serving off on Monday August 26.
With South Africa being the last nation to register for the tournament, the MOC listed others as Chinese Taipei, Cameroun, Congo Brazzaville, Congo DRC, Cote d’Ivoire, Egypt, Ghana, Lithuania, Senegal, Tunisia and Italy, while South Africa’s flag will be flown by Luke Abraham.
The MOC also listed 32 players for the main draw in the men’s singles, while 16 were listed in the women’s singles. In he boys’ junior main draw, 16 players were listed, while eight were listed in the girls’ single junior event.
The ITTF-approved tournament is the highest prize money tournament to be staged in Africa and it is organized by the MOC of the Lagos International Sports Classics in collaboration with the Nigeria Table Tennis Federation (NTTF).