After two days of qualifying round, the top seeds at the 2018 ITTF Challenge Seamaster Nigeria Open will begin their campaign for honours at the $46, 000 prize money championship. With the arrival of number one seed, Aruna Quadri and veteran, Segun Toriola, attention will turn to the main draw of the men and women singles events as the tournament enters the knockout stage.
According to ITTF Publication Manager, Ian Marshal, it is not only the fact that Quadri tops the list that puts him in the spotlight, it is the way that he plays and the way he comports himself. He is a true sportsman in the very best sense of the way. The Nigerian is exciting to watch. His style, with the big forehand stroke – the racket finishing high above his head – is reminiscent of Atanda Musa (the Men’s Singles winner at the 1982 Commonwealth Championships).
Exciting to watch, both Musa and Quadri gain the respect of all.
Meanwhile, 43 year- old Toriola is featuring.
Foreign players who could shatter Toriola and co. dream
All eyes are on Quadri and Toriola. But they will have to be at their best. There is a strong European challenge, especially from France. Alexandre Robinot, the reigning national champion, leads the invasion. He is supported by Antoine Hachard, Joe Seyfried and Benjamin Brossier. Notably, Hachard secured the Men’s Singles title on the ITTF World Tour in 2016 in Chile. In the Under 21 Men’s Singles event, Seyfried won earlier this year in Germany, while in 2015, Brossier prevailed in Qatar.
Russia’s Alexey Liventsov, a quarter-finalist last year in Slovenia is on duty in Lagos, as is the 2016 champion, Finland’s Benedek Olah. Likewise, England’s Sam Walker, who finished in fourth place earlier this year in the Men’s Singles event at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games is on the entry list.
Furthermore, prominent names from South America are partaking in this event. Brazil’s Thiago Monteiro leads the Latin American emissary. As well, Argentina’s Horacio Cifuentes also makes the journey from the southern hemisphere.
Liventsov is the second seed behind Quadri. Olah, Monteiro and Walker are next in the order of merit. Robinot, Cifuentes and Hungary’s Tamas Lakatos complete the top eight names.
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