Eight African countries will compete in 44 titles in class 1 to 10 in singles and team events for men and women during the the maiden Valuejet Para Table Tennis Open in Lagos.
The countries competing for the N10.8m prize money at the Molade Okoya-Thomas Hall of Teslim Balogun Stadium are Egypt, South Africa, Morocco, Cote d’Ivoire, Benin Republic, Togo, Nigeria and Ghana.
According to the Chairman of Para Table Tennis in the board of the Nigeria Table Tennis Federation (NTTF), Elderson Bankole, the tournament would help to put Nigeria on the world map while it would also afford the players to test might with their counterparts in Africa.
Already, five Nigerians have qualified in the para table tennis event of Tokyo 2020 and Bankole believes with the staging of the championship, more players would be unearthed for the country.
“This is the first time we will be having this kind of competition in Nigeria and also an ITTF-certified classifier will be coming from Egypt to help classify our players in their respective classes. There is no doubt that we have talents in para table tennis but these players must know their classes so that they can be included in the ITTF data base for major competitions.” Bankole said.
From December 16 to 18, the ITTF classifier will classify the players to their classes while the tournament will kick off on December 19 to 21 with the top three in each event getting prize money for their efforts.