Europe has dominated entries for the 2017 International Table Tennis Federation, ITTF, Challenge Nigeria Open, as 10 countries registered before the July 10 deadline.
The championship is scheduled for August 9 to 13 at the Molade Okoya-Thomas Hall of the Teslim Balogun Stadium in Lagos.
A statement by the ITTF Media Department said that Europe dominated the list of entries as 10 countries confirmed their participation, while eight African nations were also listed.
“Asia has three countries, while Latin America has one.
“The European teams are France, Bulgaria, Finland, Russia, Italy, Portugal, Romania, Hungary, Scotland, and Ukraine.
“Nigeria, as well as its continental rival, Egypt will lead the African teams, while others are Algeria, Congo-Brazzaville, Cote d’Ivoire, Cameroun, Ghana and South Africa.
“From Asia are India, Qatar and South Korea, while Latin America will be represented by Argentina,’’ the statement said.
It also said that the tournament has set a new record as it has the largest turnout of over 22 countries, including Nigeria, beating the registration deadline on July 10.
It added that no fewer than 148 players made up of 95 men and 53 women would compete for the $46,000 prize money.
The statement said that the Local Organising Committee (LOC) has attributed the large turnout of teams to the popularity of the championships among players across the globe.
It stated that this was the first time the Nigeria Open will be having such a large number of foreigners competing at the five-day championships.
The ITTF said the tournament helps players to amass points for their world ranking.
It also said that as a legacy of the tournament, the LOC would offer two media internships for interested undergraduates (male and female) in Nigeria’s tertiary institutions, to undergo training at the five-day competition.
The LOC explained that the candidates will have full access to all players and assist the media team in providing service during the championships.
It added that the tournament would provide an exceptional rewarding experience for the selected candidates.