By James Agberebi:
Italy-based Nigerian table tennis player, Seun Ajetunmobi, has called for scouting of more sponsors., insisting that development of table tennis in Nigeria can only be achieved with the introduction of more tournaments and financial support of corporate bodies, Completesportsnigeria.com reports.
Ajetunmobi stated this at the 2017 Seamaster International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) Challenge Nigeria Open in Lagos.
The 2017 ITTF Challenge Nigeria Open which kicked off on Wednesday, August 9th and will end on Sunday, Augsut 13th is taking place inside the Molade-Okoya Thomas Indoor Sports Hall, Teslim Balogun Stadium, Lagos.
In a chat with Completesportsnigeria.com, Ajetunmobi stated that organising more tournaments will help Nigerian local-based players develop.
"The ITTF tournament is something we've been expecting in Nigeria," Ajetunmobi said.
"There should be a lot of tournaments like this. From what I can see, this is the only top ITTF tournament that we have now which is not too good. We should have more tournaments like this which means more sponsors should come and help out for the development of table tennis in Nigeria.
"I am a professional player which means I am opportuned to play in different tournaments. But the same cannot be said of the local players who have the talent. This can lead to discouragement of these talented players which is not good for Nigeria."
Ajetunmobi who kicked off the this year's ITTF Challenge Nigeria Open on a winning note on Wednesday, predicts a very difficult tournament.
He added: "The last time I played in the ITTF Lagos Open was in 2014. But with the calibre of players who have turned out for this year's edition, I am expecting a very tough tournament."
He however expresses optimism that he can cause an upset in the men's singles.
"On my part, I believe I can cause a surprise because I have been training really hard for over a year now for this tournament."