Former President, Nigeria Table Tennis Federation (NTTF), Wahid Oshodi, was the brain behind the yearly ITTF Challenge Nigeria Open, which started as a pilot in 2013.
Oshodi mid-wifed what is now regarded as Africa’s elite table tennis tournament, which continues to attract top players across the world and as the chairman of the Local Organising Committee (LOC), the chairman of the ITTF Nomination Committee believes the tournament has lifted the fortune of the sport in the continent.
“We continue to plan ahead. We have reviewed the last two years and now we look out for areas where we can improve the event.
We started planning early on how to make it a better tournament.
Quite a few members of the NTTF and Lagos State government attend or watch online the best international events and we try to learn from what the organisers are doing.
We also pick up tips from other major sports events. We do not rest on our past successes.
It is for this reason that the Nigeria Open continues to be the best international sports event in Nigeria.
This year we are quite sure that we will have a larger number of top players and that makes for a more competitive tournament.”
“The excitement that surrounds the event continues to attract top players.
The atmosphere created by the fans is different from any other event in the table tennis world. Drumming, clapping, singing and non-stop support for the players encouraged them to put in excellent performance.
Word of mouth in the table tennis world is that Lagos is the place to be.
Our event and all the accompanying razzmatazz is the face of modern table tennis. The Nigeria Open does sports and entertainment in the right balance.
Our international and local partners are indeed true partners in all sense of the word. Without them we could not put this event on.”
The erstwhile Lagos State Commissioner for Youth and Sports expressed appreciation to Lagos State Governor for the enormous support the tournament has enjoyed from the state in the last six years.
“A lot of thanks must go to our sponsors across different categories.
Most importantly the NTTF continues to receive the support of the Lagos State government and for this we say a big thank you to His Excellency, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, the Governor of Lagos State and his sports team in particular.
The infrastructure support is crucial to the hosting of the event and the human resources, which they devote to the event makes our work easier.
The support of Chairman Baba Ijebu Sports Bet, Chief Kessington Adebutu, has seen this event grow to a super world-class event.
A host of private sector partners have fully adopted this event as their own and it continues to enhance the narrative of Lagos as a major sports tourism destination in Africa.
The NTTF President, Engr. Ishaku Tikon, has also shown his full commitment to ensuring the continuity and growth of the event along with other NTTF events.
Importantly the ITTF and their World Tour Sponsor-Seamaster Group have also recognised the part this event plays in the growth of table tennis talents in Africa as it gives our African players the chance to compete with the best players in the world right here on the continent before their fans.