Cecilia Akpan, who won the women’s singles event when the ITTF Nigeria Open was test-run as Lagos Classics in 2013, says Nigerian players are determined to prove their mettle during this year’s event
Akpan says although the tournament has attracted some of the world’s best players, Nigerians are ready to compete with them for the medals.
“For me this is another chance for us to prove that we can still rub shoulders with the world’s best,” said Akpan who won a silver medal in the women’s doubles event in 2015.
She added: “The quality of the players this year is no doubt exceptional and in the history of the competition, this is the best assembly of players we have ever had.
“So it is time for us Nigerian players not to allow the visitors to come and cart away all the prize money and medals. We will surely hold them in all the events.
“After returning from Morocco, I have not missed any training because I know I must be at my best if I am hoping to contest with the foreigners in the competition.
“Things are working well for me and I am in top form and eager to commence campaign from the preliminary which starts on August 9.
“I want to take each game as they come hoping that I will make it to the main draw where anything can happen.”
Akpan was unbeaten during the ITTF African Club Championships in Morocco.
The Nigeria Open will kick off on Wednesday, August 9, at the Molade Okoya-Thomas Hall in Teslim Balogun Stadium, Lagos.