Lagos – The Nigeria Table Tennis Federation ( NTTF) has commenced open camp, ahead of the Commonwealth Table Tennis Championships, scheduled to hold from Dec. 16 to Dec. 21 in India.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that six players have since commenced training at the Indoor Sports Hall at the National Stadium, Surulere.
The players currently in camp are made up of three male and three female players.
The male players are Nurudeen Hassan, Jide Omotayo and Azeez Jamiu, while the female players are Aminat Fashola, Fatima Bello and Bose Odusanya.
The NTTF’s Head Coach, Nosiru Bello, told NAN that the open camp was one of the processes through which the final selection of the team would be made.
Bello explained that as soon as the open camp was concluded, the closed camp would commence to put finishing touches to the preparations.
“What we are having now is open camp where they all come from their different homes to showcase their talents.
“This is the first phase of the exercise in our preparations for the championships.[pro_ad_display_adzone id=”70560″]
“At the closed camp they will all be together for adequate grooming and bonding for the task ahead.
“They will be sheltered, fed and given all the necessary things required to make their stay comfortable.
“We are doing this to ensure that we take the very best of the players to India. It is a serious tournament and we are not leaving any stone unturned,’’ he said.
Bello, however, told NAN that the commencement of the closed camp would eventually commence on a yet to be disclosed date.
Nurudeen Hassan, a rising junior player, told NAN that he was poised to making the team to India.
Hassan said that he had been training hard to make the team for the international competition.
“I am a better player now because I have devoted more training hours to my schedule. I will be so happy if I make the team to India.
“I am aiming at medals in the singles and team events in India. I have been looking forward to my second time representing the country internationally.
“I have been looking for another avenue to further prove myself as a good table tennis player,” he said.
NAN reports that Hassan made his debut at the Egypt Junior and Cadet Open in Cairo in June.
He clinched a bronze medal in the team event.
In the same vein, Jide Omotayo a former Stet Mugano Table Tennis Club of Italy player told NAN that he was working hard to make the team.
He added that he would do everything within his means to make the federation proud.
“I was at the last edition of the championships in 2013 which also held in India. I was a junior player then.
“I paired with Onaolapo Ojo to play the doubles but unfortunately we lost in the quarter-final.
“In the singles, I was second in my group but only one player could progress,” he said.
Omotayo added that his ultimate aim was to prove to the NTTF that he would be a worthy representative at the championships, if selected.
“Making it into the national team is not an easy task because it takes a skillful and good player to get a slot. I believe I have what it takes but only have to prove it,” he said. (NAN)