NTTF gradually rejuvenating Nigerian table tennis, says Odunlade
NIGERIA’s upcoming table tennis star, Sunday Odunlade, is full of praise for the organisers of the recently concluded Lagos leg of the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) World tour, tagged Lagos Open, held at the Okoya Thomas Hall of the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Surulere.
The player ranked number seven in the country and unseeded at the World Tour, is happy that the tournament has afforded “some of us the opportunity to rub shoulders with some of the best players in the game, which was not there four years ago.”
According to Odunlade, “There was nothing like the World Tour until the Lagos Commissioner for Youth, Sports and Social Development, Mr. Wahid Oshodi, was elected President of the Nigerian Table Tennis Federation (ITTF).
“What is now being called GAC World Tour started in 2013 as Lagos Classic and ever since then the standard of table tennis has never remained the same again. That is why we have Aruna Quadri, who has risen in the world ranking to number 31 from the doldrums.”
Odunlade, who plays for G-20 in Abuja, said the facilities provided at the World Tour were world class, adding, “If we can be having a championship like this regularly, at least twice or more in a year, it will go a long way in improving our games and shooting up our rankings in the world. This championship is good for us, who rarely travel outside the country to participate in the ITTF organised tournaments.”
Odunlade also appealed to well meaning Nigerians, philanthropists and organisations to assist Mr. Oshodi in the development of table tennis so as to take the game to a greater height.
“In recent time, no Nigerian has been ranked number 30. I must confess that the tennis players are happy with what is going on and we appreciate him for that. Our prayer is that Mr. Oshodi should not relent. Even if another person takes over from him, he should offer advice to the next person on how he was able to make it. All efforts should be made to promote tennis until we reclaim our lost glory from the Egyptians.”
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