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120 players to vie for $75,000 as WTT Contender Lagos kicks off June 12

120 players to vie for $75,000 as WTT Contender Lagos kicks off June 12
June 09
08:05 2023

Over 120 players from 25 countries will participate in the World Table Tennis (WTT) Contender, billed to commence in Lagos on June 12.

Speaking at a press conference on Thursday, Kwekuh Tandoh, the event director, said the tourney would see players from three continents battle for over $75,000 in cash prizes across several categories.

He said the competition allows participants to pick up ranking points to qualify for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

Ten of the top 50 players in the world from China, Korea, and Germany, among others, will vie for the prizes at the first WTT Series in sub-Saharan Africa.



Tandoh said WTT Contender Lagos would be in two phases: the qualification series, which takes place throughout the first three days and the main draw later in the competition.

“We are having two segments to the tournament. We have qualifying series where you have players that are trying to get into the main draw. The qualifying series will start on Monday and run for three days. We are having over 96 men and women try to get 20 slots into the main draw. Because in the main draw already, we have 32 men and women, and the starting figure is 64 players,” the event director said.

“It will give Nigerian players an opportunity to compete against the best in the world. It is going to be competitive because this is the first time we have about 50 out of the top 150 players in the world come into Nigeria. So it will be very competitive.”


TheCable had reported that Aruna Quadri withdrew from the competition due to a play-off engagement with Fakel-Gazprom Orenburg, his club, in the Russian table tennis league.

The absence of Africa’s number-one player would dent the chances of Nigeria earning a podium finish in Lagos.


However, Enitan Oshodi, vice-president of the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF), said Aruna’s absence allows other Nigerian players to shine.

“Aruna missing will give the other players a chance to make a breakthrough with the support of the Lagos fans. Now, we are talking about Taiwo Mati. You remember, four or five years ago, as a U-15 player, but now he joined the top players in the world,” he said.


“The more important thing is that there are more Taiwo Matis in Nigeria.”

The WTT Contender Lagos will be held from June 12 to 18 at the Molade-Okoya Thomas Indoor Sports Hall in Lagos.


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