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You cannot become world best sitting at home, says Edem




NUMBER three seed in this year’s Lagos leg of the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) World Tour, tagged Lagos Open, Offiong Edem, believes this edition would be better for her, saying she is not scared of any of the female top players.

The main draw of the tournament served off yesterday at the Molade Okoya-Thomas Hall of Teslim Balogun Stadium.

Edem says her knowledge of all the top stars would stand her in god stead when they meet, adding, “mine is to be focused 100 per cent and be calculative.”

The African number four star said she is in Lagos to redeem her image, adding, however, “I will like to appeal to sponsors to assist Nigerian players to participate regularly in international tournaments. If one doesn’t play at the world stage regularly, how can one then develop to be the world best?”

On her prospects at the Lagos Open, Edem said she is ready for the championship, explaining, “at a point I got tired of the game for lack of international exposure; that was why I dropped from the tour. But this time around, I have come to win to make a mark and I know my state governor will be happy if I am able to achieve that.”

The matches served off yesterday with the Men’s Singles U-21 defending champion, Onaolapo, defeating his compatriot, Joshua Oladiran, 3-0, while Joseph Osedunkwu succumbed to Olasunkanmi Ogini 1-3 and Mahmoud Fathy (EGY) walloped Azeez Solanke 3-0.

In other deciders, Akinwale Fagbamila (NGR) dismissed Sunday Akomolafe (NGR) 3-0, as Ahmed Mabrouk (EGY) humbled fellow countryman, Sayed Ramadan 3-1.

Michael Obayomi (NGR) surrendered to Olajide Omotayo (NGR) 1-3 and Egypt’s Shady Magdy beat Nigeria’s Nurudeen Hassan in 3-1, while Babatunde Babafemi (NGR) yielded to the superiority of Azeez Ogunlade (NGR) 1-3.

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