Lagos — Over N10.8m ($30,000) will be at stake as players compete in 44 titles in singles and team events at the maiden Valuejet Para Table Tennis Open holding from Thursday, December 19 to Saturday 21 in Lagos.
Rio 2016 Paralympian and internet sensation, Ibrahim Hamato will join other para athletes at the tournament holding at the Molade Okoya-Thomas Hall of Teslim Balogun Stadium, Lagos, Nigeria.
According to the project consultant, Sunday Odebode, the presence of Egyptian team including Hamato would add glamour to the tournament.
Hamato, 44, an Egyptian Para table tennis Champion lost both his arms as a result of a train accident when he was 10. He once said in an interview with CNN, "In our village, we could only play, at that time, table tennis and soccer that's why I played both. It was logic to play soccer first due to my case; then I played table tennis as a challenge."
"We are excited to have Hamato in Lagos because he has been an inspiration to a lot of people across the world and we believe his presence in Lagos would again inspire special athletes to aim high despite their challenges.
"It promises to be exciting and we cannot wait to have some of the top teams that are already confirmed for the championship.
"Preparation is ongoing to ensure a hitch-free tournament and we believe hosting this kind of the competition will put Nigeria on the world map and give our players the chance to test might with some of the best in Africa in readiness for Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games in Japan," Odebode said.