Regarding the performance of the Nigerian contingent in the tournament, Tandoh said their participation was primarily aimed at providing exposure and experience to the home players.
The Chairman of the Youth Committee of theInternational Table Tennis Federation (ITTF)Africa, Kweku Tandoh, has described the just concluded World Table Tennis (WTT) Contender Lagos as highly successful.
Tandoh, who doubles as tournament planner for the Lagos event, told PREMIUM TIMES in an exclusive interview he was satisfied with how things played out at the recently concluded seven-day event.
He, however, admitted there were one or two challenges in organising the world-class event, but he believes they were quite insignificant to rub the WTT Contender Lagos off its high ratings.
“The quality of the tournament goes to show that if we want to do something in Nigeria, we can do it, and to the best standards, international best practices.” Tandoh declared while beaming with joy.
Discussing the challenges faced in organising a tournament as big as the WTT Contender Lagos, Tandoh acknowledged that some infrastructural and logistical challenges prevalent in developing countries compared to the more developed regions are making things a bit difficult.
He, however, expressed optimism about improving sporting infrastructure in Nigeria to facilitate the hosting of even bigger tournaments in the future.
Addressing a technical glitch during the final game day when there was a brief blackout, Tandoh explained that such occurrences are unpredictable and can happen anywhere, citing the recent championships held in Durban, South Africa
He stated: “It’s one of those things, you can never really tell when it comes to equipment, I’m not using this as an excuse, but even in the last championships that happened a couple of weeks ago in Durban, that kind of thing happened about three times in four days, again if the infrastructure is right, there would be no need for generators that may end up having problems. It’s just one of those things, it’s never happened in the eight or nine years we’ve been hosting events like this. We’d go back to the drawing board and make sure it doesn’t happen again.”
Regarding the performance of the Nigerian contingent in the tournament, Tandoh stated that their participation was primarily aimed at providing exposure and experience to the home players.
“The Federation got wildcard entries for about 20 Nigerians to come through the qualifiers, it’s not as if we expected them to come through into the main draws because we knew the kind of calibre of players they were going to play, but we felt the exposure would help them, going forward,” he explained
Tandoh also highlighted that the WTT Contender Lagos was primarily funded by the private sector, as it has been for the past eight to nine years. The Lagos State government provided financial support for this particular event.
On what to be expected next, he said, “We hope to host this Contender next year, with better infrastructures, and apart from that, I’m sure, the Nigeria Table Tennis Federation would also put their events in place, but for us, we are looking forward to next year’s world Contender Lagos event again”