The International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) has unveiled the seeding list for the 2018 ITTF Challenge Seamaster Nigeria Open holding on August 8 to 12 at the Molade Okoya-Thomas Hall of Teslim Balogun Stadium in Lagos.
Also, 12 undergraduates from Nigerian highest institutions have been selected for the media workshop, being one of the legacies of the Africa’s elite tournament. Theye are expected to undergo one-day training with the best four selected for an internship during the five-day championship.
169 players made up of 108 men and 61 women from 27 countries will be competing at the $46,000 prize money championship which is the second highest prize money among the nine ITTF Challenge Series.
In the men’s singles, 32 players made the seeding with Nigeria’s Aruna Quadri seeded number one, being the highest ranked player in the competition, while Russia’s Alexey Liventsov is number two seed. Other players that made the top 10 seeding list are 2016 Champion – Finalnd’s Benedek Olah (3), Brazil’s Thiago Monteiro (4), England’s Samuel Walker (5), France’s Alexandre Robinot (6), Argentina’s Horacio Cifuentes (7), Hungary’s Tamas Lakatos (8), Scotland’s Gavin Rumgay (9) and Thailand’s Supanut Wisutmaythangkoon (10).
Olufunke Oshonaike is the only Nigerian that made the top 10 seeding list of the women’s singles with Thailand’s Suthasini Sawettabut seeded as number one. 2016 Champion – Hungary’s Szandra Pergel is seeded number two. Others are Italy’s Giorgia Piccolin (3), Luxembourg’s Sarah De Nutte (4), Italy’s Debora Vivarelli (5), Slovenia’s Alex Galic (6), Colombia’s Paula Medina (7), Nigeria’s Oshonaike (8), Norway’s Ilka Doval (9) and Egypt’s Yousra Helmy (10).
In the U-21 categories, defending champion in the men – Romania’s Rares Sipos is the number one while Norway’s Ilka Doval in the number one seed in the women.
2018 African Youth Games bronze medalist, Esther Oribamise is the one Nigerian listed in the top eight players seeded in the women’s U-21.
Three Nigerian players – Rilwan Akanbi, Nurudeen Hassan and Joshua Oladiran made the seeding list in the men’s U-21.