Hostilities will begin at the 53rd Asoju Oba Molade Okoya Thomas Cup Table Tennis Championships from December 1. The tennis tourney, which ends on December 7, holds at the Molade Okoya-Thomas Hall of the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Surulere, Lagos.
Nine titles will be competed for in this year’s tourney. They include, the singles (men and women), doubles (men and women), mixed doubles, para-singles standing (men and women) and para singles sitting (men and women).
Speaking on the championships, Deji Okoya-Thomas said God has been in the driving seat of the continuous sponsorship of the contest, which is in memory of their late father, Molade Okoya-Thomas.
“We are grateful to God that as a family we have been enabled by Him through His blessings to continue with the sponsorship.
“It is noteworthy to mention that in all the years of this competition, Lagos State government has stood by our father and the family.
“We appeal, therefore, that as we move forward in anticipation of more years of the tournament, we continue to enjoy the same love and support
“We are still in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, so, there is a reduced number of titles being competed for.
“In line with the tradition of the championship, there will be cash and material prizes in all the categories,” he said.
He added, “If there is any doubt in the value this championship has brought to the game of table tennis in Nigeria, we just have to take a look at the story of the winner of the 45th edition of the Men’s singles, Olajide Omotayo, who carted away a brand new car.
“He is today a member of the Nigeria men’s table tennis team and 2019 African Games champion. He started by competing in the cadet category of the championship and went on to the junior category and all the way to the senior category. He currently plays professionally in France and he is one of many, who have used this competition as a platform to a successful career,” he said.