By Monica Iheakam
Two days to the commencement of this year’s International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF),Nigeria Open tagged Lagos 2017, former women’s singles champion, Cecilia Akpan has vowed to halt the foreign dominance of the prestigious Africa elite tournament holding at the Molade Okoya-Thomas Hall of Teslim Balogun Stadium in Lagos.
When the ITTF Nigeria Open was test run was in 2013 as Lagos Classics, the 31-year-old mother of one claimed the women’s singles title but since she can only boast of silver medal in the women’s doubles event in 2015.
As one of the Nigeria national team flag bearers to the tournament, Akpan said she was fully ready to do battle against the foreigners in Lagos.
“For me this is another chance for us to prove that we can still rub shoulders with the world’s best. The quality of the players this year is no doubt exceptional and in the history of the competition, this is the best assembly of players we have ever had. So it is time for us Nigerian players not to allow the visitors to come and cart away all the prize money and medals. We will surely hold them in all the events,” she said.
She added: “After returning from Morocco, I have not missed any training because I know I must be at my best if I am hoping to contest with the foreigners in the competition. Things are working well for me and I am in top form and eager to commence campaign from the preliminary which starts on August 9. I want to take each game as they come hoping that I will make it to the main draw where anything can happen.”