A 12-man Team Nigeria contingent will today begin campaigns at the ITTF World Junior Circuit (WJC) and African Junior and Cadet Championship (AJCC) holding in Accra, Ghana from April 1 to 13.
10 other nations will be competing against Nigeria at the WJC which serves off on Monday April 1 to 5 at the Sports Emporium in Accra, Ghana.
National junior champion, Azeez Solanke leads 11 others to the WJC and AJCC.
The contingent will begin campaign at the WJC with the aim of amassing global ranking points as well as test their might ahead of the AJCC which serves off on April 7.
Solanke who is the only Nigerian seeded in the boys’ singles will be aiming for the title having featured in previous editions of the WJC without making it to the podium.
Solanke will compete alongside Augustine Emmanuel and Abayomi Animashaun will compete in the junior boys’ team event which serves off today April 1, while the quartet of Jamiu Ayanwale, Taiwo Matti, Musa Mustapha and Mustapha Mustapha will compete in the boys’ cadet team event.
Vivian Oku, Rofiat Jimoh and Iyanuoluwa Falana will slug it out in the junior girls’ team while Sukurat Aiyelabegan and Sadiat Akeem will compete in the cadet girls’ team event.
Besides the team event, the players will battle for honours in the singles and doubles events of the WJC.
The AJCC serves as qualification for the 2019 World Junior Championship holding later in the year and Nigeria will be returning after missing the last two editions in Tunisia and Cote d’Ivoire.
Also, the team will be aiming to dethrone defending champion – Egypt in Accra next week.
Ghana Table Tennis Association (GTTA) promised an exciting tournament being the first time the West Africa will be staging an international table tennis tournament in the last 16 years.
According to Ghana Minister of Youth and Sports, Isaac Asiamah, Ghana would host a befitting tournament. “We are grateful to ITTF and ATTF for choosing Ghana as host of these important competitions and for us we are excited that this is in line with our ideals of growing all sports from grassroots levels. We have been working hard to revive our school sports because we know we have the potential to be among the best in sports. I am also using this opportunity to charge the Ghana Table Tennis Association to focus on schools across the country to be able to discover new talents that will make our country proud at the 2023 African Games which we are hosting,” Isaac Asiamah said.