After several hours of delay, the much anticipated 43rd Asoju Oba Table Tennis Championship got underway Monday with a record entry of participants for the five-day competition.
The event, which is holding at the Molade Okoya-Thomas Indoor Sports Hall of Teslim Balogun Stadium has a record 164 players in all categories of play namely; junior, intermediate and the senior section. Also, this is the first time impaired athletes are registered alongside the main players to compete for glory.
This year has 40 more players than the last edition.
The Secretary of Lagos State Table Tennis Association (LSTTA), John Peters, explained that aside the participation of impaired players, most of the athletes want to use the Asoju Oba event as their final training programme for the forth coming National Sports Festival.
"This is a unique edition and this explains why entries in all the categories of play are over whelming. We have come to realise that some of the impaired players too can play very well and we do not want to discriminate against them.
Secondly, with the timing of the Sports Festival less than a month, most players will definitely use this competition as their final training," he explained.
In some of the games played Monday, Men's Singles defending champion, Ganiyu Ashimiyu had a tough start with a 11-2, 11-4, 4-11, 9-11, 11-9 and 11-7 against Sanya Olu.
In other results Abiodun Adegoke lost to 4th seed Olajide Omotayo 11-4,11-10,11-9,11-6 while Joseph Osendukwu defeated 7th seed Salau Wahab 11-7,11-7,11-7,11-6.
In the women category, Ayo Udoh defeated Munirat Idris in straight sets of 11-2,11-8,11-7 while an impaired player, Ganiyat Animashaun, lost to seeded player, Bose Ogunnubi 11-6,11-7,11-7.
Opening day of the tournament recorded 64 and 32 charts in the Men and Women categories respectively.
Competition in the cadet and intermediate categories will commence this morning at the same venue.