By James Crook

149440094July 24 - Nigerian Table Tennis Association (NTTA) President Wahid Oshodi hopes to see players from his country improve with the hosting of Lagos International Classic, which is scheduled to be held in the Nigerian capital next month.

"We believe that organising this competition will help our players and expose them to top players from other nations," said Oshodi.

"We are hoping that it will be an annual event will help to improve the lot of the sport in the country."

The tournament, organised with the approval of the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) and the African Table Tennis Federation (ATTF), is due to be held at Molade Okoya-Thomas Hall from August 26 to August 31.

The hosting of the event has been funded and supported by the private sector and the Lagos State Government.

"I want to commend the Nigerian Table Tennis Association Board for their ingenuity and I am so happy that Nigeria, with its remarkable traditional weight in sports and specially table tennis, can agree to organise the tournament," said ATTF President Khaled El-Salhy.

"I am hoping for a resounding success and one of my missions is to assess the organisation as well as facilities; also we also want to use this event as a test for an ITTF-African Table Tennis Federation event in the near future."

149471547NTTA President Oshodi hopes to see the likes of African number five Quadri Aruna improve by playing against better opposition

El-Salhy also opened the possibility of staging a major tournament in Nigeria in the near future.

"The International Table Tennis Federation in conjunction with the African Table Tennis Federation is looking to organise a brand new event next year, The 2014 ITTF-Africa Top 16 Cup, which should be in the second half of June 2014, as qualification for the World Cups next year.

"We believe it will be good to start this competition in Nigeria; I am hoping for a successful 2013, as well as envisaging that the Lagos International Classics will be part of the ITTF World Tour Calendar in the future."

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