The annual Asoju Oba Table Tennis Cup has been renamed the Molade Okoya-Thomas Table Tennis Tournament. PUNCH the reports
The longest ever table tennis tournament in the history of African sports will take place from December 27 to 30 at the Teslim Balogun Stadium.
Our correspondent learned that over 150 players will participate in the tournament which has produced some of the best table tennis players in Nigeria.
Athletes will compete in women’s and men’s singles, doubles and mixed doubles and Para-table tennis. Administrators and coaches will also compete in the individual event.
Deji Okoya-Thomas, who spoke at a press conference to unveil plans for this year’s tournaments on Thursday, said the decision to rename the tournament was based on the decision of the founding family.
“The family decided to name the tournament starter because the tournament starter name was the title given to him while he was alive and the title has been given to someone else since his death, so it’s appropriate for the family to use it. his name for the tournament which has been the longest running sports competition in Nigeria,” he said.
“Organizing the tournament every year fulfills the wish of the beginning and we thank God that we have been able to continue his wish by the grace of God and we pray that God will give us the strength to continue this noble heritage. It is the seventh year since he was called to glory.
Highlighting the achievements of the tournament, Okoya-Thomas added: “We cannot overstate the impact the tournament has had on the fortunes of the country’s sport.
“The latest are the exploits of teenage sensation Matthew Kuti, who was impressive in his first outing at the African Youth Championships in Tunisia while playing at the World Youth Table Tennis Championships in Cairo, Egypt, where he won the U-11 and U-13 titles. The impact the tournament has had on the players. they are confirmation.”
On the other hand, champion Rilwan Akanbi’s Also, the men’s singles champion is aiming for his third title this year after winning the 2016 and 2021 editions of the competition.
“I hope to win this title again and finish the year well,” Akanbi told The PUNCH.
“I’ve been participating in this event for a few years now and winning for the third time will be a good way to end the year.”