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Battles for NTTF Women Open’s N.6m begins

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President of the Nigeria Table Tennis Federation (NTTF), Ishaku Tikon

The best female players across the country are aiming for ranking points as well as the N600,000 prize money at stake as the maiden Nigeria Table Tennis Federation (NTTF) National Women Singles Open Championship serves off today at the Molade Okoya-Thomas Hall of Teslim Balogun Stadium.

The two-day tournament will be used to rate the players, while the winner will go home with N200,000 for her efforts.

Most of the players used the just concluded African Games trials as a warm-up event for the championship sponsored by the President of NTTF, Ishaku Tikon.

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Southpaw Fatimo Bello defied all odds to humble the likes of Cecilia Otu-Akpan and National Sports Festival champion, Ajoke Ojomu to win the African Games trial and so, all eyes will be on the Lagos State-born athlete, who is yet to feature for the national team since her emergence in the last two years.

Pained by the defeat she suffered against Fatimo Bello in the final of the African Games trial, Abuja-based Ajoke Ojomu will be hoping to re-enact the form that saw her claiming the National Sports Festival at the expense of veteran Cecilia Otu-Akpan.

All participating players are to have a valid NTTF license to qualify for the championship.

Speaking on the competition, NTTF President, Ishaku Tikon said the trials were an eye-opener for the federation and a dress rehearsal for the women singles tournament.
 
“Already, several tournaments are lined up for this year in Africa and we cannot afford to play second fiddle in such competitions. That is why we have decided to focus on the female players so that we can raise their standard in the game.

“The first step is to identify the talented ones among them before exposing them to world class coaching and tournaments.

“We are expecting players at junior and senior levels to be part of the competition and we will ensure that the identified ones are groomed to become world beaters just like their male counterparts,” Tikon said.

 


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