Dalung Tasks Sports Federations On Sponsorship

Sports, Solomon Dalung, Sports federationsSports federations still waiting for funding from the Federal Government have been asked to attract sponsorship from the private sector.

The Minister of Youth and Sports, Mr Solomon Dalung, made the call on Monday in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

He advised the federations to look inwards by creating programmes and events that would draw sponsorship from the private sector.

Mr Dalung stressed that they needed to emulate the Nigeria Table Tennis Federation (NTTF) by generating funds to run their programmes.

He commended the NTTF for organising various championship which he said helped to discover young talents.

Nigerian Open Qualifiers To Serve Off On April 1

table-tennisFor local and foreign-based players to compete at this year’s International Table Tennis Federation World Tour tagged ‘Nigerian Open’, players across the country will compete in the qualifiers, which has been scheduled to serve off on April 1.

At the two-day tournament, eight players made up of four men and four women will join others in the main ITTF World Tour which will begin on May 18 to 22 at the Molade Okoya-Thomas Hall of Teslim Balogun stadium in Lagos state.

According to the prospectus of the qualifiers, “the tournament shall be used to select players to represent Nigeria in the men’s singles and women’s singles at the World Tour Nigerian Open scheduled for May 18 to 22. Only the four highest ITTF ranked Nigerian players in the April 2016 world ranking in both events shall qualify automatically to represent Nigeria. All players not qualifying automatically but who wish to represent Nigeria are therefore advised to play in the qualifying tournament”.

To be eligible for the qualifying event, only players registered by states which are affiliated to the Nigeria Table Tennis Federation (NTTF) or foreign based Nigerian players will be allowed to compete. All players should have the current NTTF player’s license, which must be produced on demand.

It stated further that “all intending players shall signify their intention to play by registering with the Nigeria Table Tennis Federation with a copy to the referee. The organisers may disqualify a player if information supplied is found to be false.

“All players shall abide by the rules and regulations of the Nigeria Table Tennis Federation and the International Table Tennis Federation, particularly as regards fair play. All players shall not, by their action or inaction, bring the sport into disrepute. All players shall strive to win all matches, no matter who their opponent is.”

For the qualifiers format, the registered players will be drawn into pools and matches will be played in a group round robin, with qualifiers from each group advancing into second round in both events while matches in round one round robin shall be best of five games. Matches in round two shall be best of seven games and shall be played on knock-out basis.

Lagos, Ondo, Others To Feature At NTTF National U-16 League

Table tennis rackets and ball NTTFLagos, Ondo, Ekiti, Kwara, Oyo and Abia States have beaten the March 21 registration deadline and cleared to participate in the Nigeria Table Tennis Federation (NTTF) maiden U-16 national league.

According to Ondo State Coach, Dotun Omoniyi, the idea of the league is commendable, as it would afford the players the chance to test might among one another in a competitive atmosphere.

“I think I am so excited about the league because it is not going to be a one-off competition but a continue tournament that will allow the players to improve in each match. Also it will give the national coaches the opportunity to unearth new talents for the country. I am eagerly looking forward to the commencement of the league,” Omoniyi said.

However, there are plans to give more states the opportunity to compete at the championship, as most states are yet to complete the final process that confirms their eligibility.

According to the NTTF, the league will involve players across Nigeria and it is meant to give new players the opportunity to make national junior teams and work their way into the senior team.

The tournament will serve off from March 29 to April 8 at the National Training Centre in National Stadium while the grand finale which is known as Super League will hold on May 14 at the Teslim Balogun Stadium.

Each state across Nigeria is expected to present two boys and two girls while the top eight players in the boys and girls event will qualify for the Super League.

According to the prospectus of the tournament, states wishing to participate will register with the NTTF, while only the first 20 boys’ teams and the first 16 girls’ teams to register for the League shall be accepted to participate while only players registered by states, which are affiliated to the NTTF, are eligible to participate.

All players shall hold the current NTTF Player’s License, which must be produced on demand.

Olympic Qualification: Segun Toriola Targets History In Sudan

Segun ToriolaAll eyes will be on Segun Toriola when the 2016 Africa Olympic Qualification Tournament begins in Khartoum, Sudan from February 16 to 18, 2016 as he aims to become the first African to play in seven Olympics.

The former five-time Africa champion holds the record of becoming the first Nigerian to feature in six Olympic Games after the 2012 London Olympic Games.

Toriola made his debut at the Barcelona 1992 Olympics in Spain, and since then, he has made it to all the Olympics with his best record of reaching the Men’s Singles 1/16 final at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, beating amongst others former world number 1, Belgium’s Jean-Michel Saive as well as Canada’s David Zhuang.

His 1/32 match-up with Jean-Michel Saive was seen by many as one of the highlights of the Men’s Singles Tournament. He narrowly lost 4-3 to heavily favoured South Korea’s Oh Sang-Eun in the round of 16.

His fifth Olympic appearance in 2008 made him the first Nigerian man to appear at five Olympics. This feat was achieved four years earlier by sprinter Mary Onyali and also in 2008 by another table tennis player Bose Kaffo.

With his participation in the 2012 Olympics in London, he became the only Nigerian athlete to feature at six Olympics. He therefore joined João N’Tyamba of Angola and Maria Mutola of Mozambique as only third ever African athlete to compete in six Olympics.

Having narrowly missed the automatic qualification at the 2015 African Games in Congo Brazzaville following his quarterfinal loss to Congo Brazzaville’s Wang Jianan, Segun Toriola will be hoping for one of the two slots available in the men’s event in Sudan.

As the most successful table tennis player in Africa, all eyes are fixed on the Nigerian as he aims to become the first African to play in seven Olympics.

According to the President of Africa Table Tennis Federation (ATTF), Khaled El-Salhy, the tournament hopes to open a new chapter in the history of table tennis in the continent with Segun Toriola on the verge of history while the host – Sudan hopes to stage a colourful event.

“It will be a very big surprise and a real honour for Africa Table Tennis to host such Top 16 Cup followed by the African Qualification 2nd Tournament for 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

On whether Congo Brazzaville can nominate their second Chinese import for the qualifiers, the ATTF boss said; “In-spite of the African qualification tournament for 2016 Rio OG, it will take place in Khartoum – Sudan on February 16 to 18, 2016 just after the ITTF-Africa Top 16 Cup, and the eligibility for such event is for all nominees having valid passports (i.e. according to IOC eligibility), the same rules already applied for the 11th African Games as the 1st qualification event to 2016 Rio OG.

“This means that as Congo Brazzaville still entitled to send one entry in each single event (men & women), thus they can nominate HU Bin in men & also LI Yuheng in women if they wish to do so.”

He added: “All African Associations entitle to send two entries (men) + two entries (women) for the African Qualification Tournament in Sudan (16-18/2/2016) except for Sudan as the host to have 4 men + 4 women, Congo Brazzaville to send 1 man + 1 woman, Nigeria to send 1 man + 1 woman, while for Egypt has no chance to send any entries in both. This is due to the already qualified players from the 1st stage of qualification in Brazzaville (September 2015) with 4 men + 4 women including (2 from EGY, 1 from NGR & 1 from CGO), especially all those qualified players already confirmed by their NOCs to play in 2016 Rio OG.”

Segun Toriola has won multiple medals in continental and international singles tournaments. Some of his important achievements include winning the African Table Tennis Singles Championships four times in 1998, 2002, 2004, 2006 and 2 Doubles Championships in 1994 and 1992. He also has a Commonwealth Singles Championship gold medal which he won in Manchester in 2002.


Toriola Pulls Out Of African Senior Cup

Segun ToriolaNigeria’s experienced table tennis player, Segun Toriola, has pulled out of this year’s International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) African Senior Cup serving off in Yaounde, Cameroon on Tuesday.

According to a release by the Nigeria Table Tennis Federation (NTTF), Toriola will not feature due to fatigue and ill-health.

The six-time Olympian, who was hoping to use the tournament to assess other players ahead of the September All Africa Games in Brazzaville, Congo, says he is disappointed at missing out of the event.

He expressed optimism that ‘Team Nigeria’ will do well at the championship.

Home grown talent, Kazeem Makanjuola, has been called up to replace the 40-year old.

In reaction, he said: “I am very excited that I was considered to step into the shoes of Segun Toriola after he withdrew due to ill-health and I understand the confidence that NTTF repose on me and I must ensure I don’t fail them in Cameroon.

“Also, this has afforded me the rare opportunity to make my second appearance at the tournament after losing to El-Sayed Lashin in 2013 in the quarter-final stage while I defeated him during the Club Championship at same event. For me, I see this as an opportunity to prove myself and make my country proud”.

2014 NTTF President’s Cup Postponed

Table tennis rackets and ballFollowing the political activities going on in Nigeria, particularly in Lagos State, the Nigeria Table Tennis Federation (NTTF) have postponed the maiden President’s Cup to December 17 and 18 at the Molade Okoya-Thomas Hall of Teslim Balogun Stadium.

The change in date was inevitable, as the venue will also be hosting other events this week.   Top 16 players within and outside the country will feature at the tournament which will also be used to honour outstanding players and officials this year.

According to a release from NTTF, the tournament is aimed at inspiring the players as well as puting them in good shape for the major competitions in 2015. The players listed for the 1.8 million Naira prize money tournament are expected to arrive for the competition on December 16.
In the prospectus released by the organisers, the 16 men singles and the 16 women singles players shall be drawn into four groups of four players in each group.

The matches will be played in a round robin format with the top two players progressing to the next stage of the championship. The top eight players will also be drawn into two groups of four each with the top two from each group advancing to the semifinal stage.

On the eligibility of the players, the organisers said: “The NTFF Technical Committee shall determine the other criteria for invitation which shall include for each event, but not limited to available top four Nigerians in the current world rankings as well as performances during the year 2014. Only players registered by clubs which are affiliated to their state association and or the NTTF are eligible”.

They added: “All players shall hold the current NTTF Player’s License, which must be produced on demand. Invited players shall complete an acceptance form which shall be forwarded to the Secretary General on or before the close of acceptance which shall be 2.00pm on Tuesday December 9, 2014. All unaccepted invitations shall be extended to players in the ‘reserved List’”.

Every player listed for the competition will be receive cash reward while the star prize winner will go home with 250,000 Naira.