Men’s singles defending champion, Finland’s Benedek Olah is one of the World Tour Champions coming to Nigeria Open this year in Lagos.
The quality of players competing at the 2017 ITTF Challenge Nigeria Open ‘Lagos 2017’ continues to add glamour to this year’s edition as four ITTF World Tour Champions will be gunning for the titles in Lagos, Nigeria, comes August 9 to 13.
National Daily gathered that three-time Nigeria Open men’s singles champion– Egypt’s Omar Assar; 2016 champion – Finland’s Benedek Olah as well as 2016 Belgium Open Champion, India’s Sathiyan Gnanasekaran and Portugal’s Shao Jieni have all been confirmed for the five-day championships holding at the Molade Okoya-Thomas Hall of Teslim Balogun Stadium in Lagos.
National Daily learnt that Omar Assar, who recently lost his men’s singles title at the 2017 ITTF Africa Cup to Nigeria’s Aruna Quadri will be making a return to the tournament he missed last year’s due to club’s commitment in the French league. The Egyptian, who has become Lagos fans favourite is synonymous with the Nigeria Open and the spectators are indeed awaiting the Egyptian Pharaoh in Nigeria’s Centre of Excellent.
The dancing champion, Finland’s Benedek Olah who claimed his first international major title in 2016 after winning the men’s singles title at the expense of Egypt’s Khalid Assar is eagerly looking forward to coming back to Lagos where his dancing step went viral on social media after his triumph last year.
Being their maiden appearance at the Nigeria Open, the star-studded Indian team will be led by 2016 Belgium Open champion, Sathiyan Gnanasekaran, who is second Indian ever to win at ITTF World Tour will also be relying on the support of the Indian community in Lagos.
Also the women’s singles champion, Portugal’s Shao Jieni is another world tour winner coming to Lagos this year.
Apart from the three World Tour champions, 2009 mixed doubles world champion, Qatar’s Li Ping is among the array of stars already listed for the Nigeria Open. The Chinese-born Qatari who is ranked 42nd in the world will also be competing for the title in the men’s singles amidst the assembly of stars coming to Lagos for the $46,000 prize money championships.