After two weeks of rigorous training cum trials, the Nigeria Table Tennis Federation (NTTF) has picked 12 players for the final phase of camping for the 2016 ITTF World Junior Championships in Cape Town, South Africa.
The two-week camping exercise was coordinated by Africa’s most decorated table tennis star, Segun Toriola at the National Training Centre of the Lagos National Stadium.
20 players invited to camp were accommodated and fed by the federation to allow the players to concentrate during the training exercise conducted by the seven-time Olympian.
According to Toriola, the players proved their mettle during the camp as most of them have improved their game with the aim of making the final list for the final phase of the camping.
“I am indeed impressed with what I saw and this goes to show that talents abound in this country. What they just need is that support to push them up to the global stage. The 20 players in camp are capable of making the team to South Africa but we can only choose few that will wear the colours of Nigeria at the world championship. We have decided to pick 12 players from the 20 that will be invited to the final phase of training late next month where the final eight will be selected based on their performance as well. But with the camping, it has shown that we have the talents and we just need to keep them together and organise this kind of camping for them in order to acquaint them with the new techniques in the sport,”Toriola said.
In the final selection, there was no place for teenage sensation, Abayomi Animasahun who finished seventh in the boys’ trial tournament.
The 12 players that made the final phase of camping for the championship include, Azeez Solanke, Amadi Umeh, Tobi Falana, Rilwan Akanni, Emmanuel Augustine and Babafemi Babatunde.
Tosin Oribamise and Ajoke Ojomu led the girls’ team which include Agnes Onoja, Halimot Ayinla, Rofiat Jimoh and Vivian Akpan.
The final phase of camping holds in November, few weeks to the championship in South Africa.