Nigeria’s Aruna Quadri and other top seeds, including Liventsov Alexey from Russia and Olah Benedek from Finland will begin their campaigns for honours at the 2018 Nigeria Open championship.
The total prize money for the annual table tennis championship is $46,000.
In the men’s singles category, the winner will be rewarded with $5,000, and finalist $2,500, while in the women’s single category, the winner and finalist will enjoy the same prize reward as that of the men. As for the men and women’s doubles, $3,000 will be the take home prize for the winner while the finalist will be rewarded with $1,500.
Meanwhile, the U21 men and women’s winners will be rewarded with $1,000 each and the losing finalist will have $500 prize money.
With the arrival of number one seed and home boy – Aruna Quadri, attention will turn to the main draw of the men and women singles events as tournament enters knockout stage.
According to the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) Publication Manager, Ian Marshal, it is not only the fact Quadri tops the list which puts him in the spotlight; it is the way he plays and the way he conducts himself.
“He is the true sportsman in the very best sense of the way. The Nigerian is exciting to watch, his style with the big forehand stroke, the racket finishing high over his head, reminiscent of colleague, Atanda Musa, the men’s singles winner at the 1982 Commonwealth Championships,” Marshal said.
Team Nigeria’s Quadri Aruna and Segun Toriola have gained the respect of all, but they will have to play at their best because there is a strong European challenge, especially from France. Alexandre Robinot, the reigning national champion, leads the invasion. He is supported by Antoine Hachard, Joe Seyfried and Benjamin Brossier. Notably Antoine Hachard secured the Men’s Singles title on the ITTF World Tour in 2016 in Chile; in U-21 men’s singles events, Joe Seyfried won earlier this year in Germany, in 2015 Benjamin Brossier prevailed in Qatar.
Russia’s Alexey Liventsov, a quarter-finalist last year in Slovenia is on duty in Lagos, as is the 2016 champion, Finland’s Benedek Olah. Likewise, England’s Sam Walker, who finished in fourth place earlier this year in the Men’s Singles event at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games, is named on the entry list.
Prominent names from the old continent and from the new. Brazil’s Thiago Monteiro leads the Latin American challenge; Argentina’s Horacio Cifuentes also makes the journey from the southern hemisphere.
Alexey Liventsov is the second seed behind Quadri Aruna; Benedek Olah, Thiago Monteiro and Sam Walker are next in the order of merit. Alexandre Robinot, Horacio Cifuentes and Hungary’s Tamas Lakatos complete the top eight names.