Richard Eden, Head Coach of Cross River Table Tennis Association, has advised Nigerian female players at the ongoing ITTF Challenge Nigeria Open to be confident of themselves while competing.
Eden said on Saturday in Lagos that he observed that the players lacked confidence to compete with their foreign counters which affected their performances in the tournament.
Some of the result of the Round of 32 women singles event are: Edem Offiong (Ngr) v Wei Wensheng (Chn) 0-4, Hussain Halima (Ngr) v Garlic Alex (Slovenia) 1-4.
Others are Vivarelli Deborah (Ita) v Aregbesola Nimota (Ngr) 4-0, Ayinla Alimota (Ngr) v De Nutte Sarah (Lux) 4-1, Akula Sreeja (Ind) v Helmy Yousra (Egy) 4-2, and others.
“I critically watched the performance of our girl in this tournament knowing full well that they are good and have prepared but I observed that the presence of their paired foreign players intimidated them.
“So, they need to raise their game and must see themselves as champions and self-confidence should be part of their preparation and readiness to boost their competition psychology,” he said.
The coach advised the players to remain objective in their career not minding their performance in the tournament, adding that the platform was an enabling ground to tap from current techniques.
“It’s natural for them to be depressed but I believe it was a good experience for them because they have played with top ranked players,” he added.
He urged the Nigeria Table Tennis Federation (NTTF), private and public organisations to identity with the buildup of the players and provide them standard facilities for training and competition purposes.
According to him, some players, particularly those in the junior categories cannot afford the required equipment such as bat and rubber for training that could help them to improve on their skills.
The 6th edition of the annual tournament, holding in Molade Okoya-Thomas Hall, Teslim Balogun Stadium, Lagos, began on Aug. 8 and will end Aug. 12. (NAN)