Two of the best female table tennis players in the country Fatimo Bello of G20 and Bose Odusanya of Lagos will continue their rivalry at the Lagos Top 16 Invitational Challenge scheduled for June 12 at the Molade Okoya-Thomas Hall of Teslim Balogun Stadium.
The tournament is organised by Lagos State Sports Commission (LSSC), with the aim to sustain the momentum generated at just concluded 2021 Nigeria Table Tennis Federation (NTTF) National Championships as the best 32 players (16 men and 16 women) across the country will converge for the one-day tournament.
Bello who has been unbeaten this year in all competitions having won the 20th National Sports Festival in Edo, Aso Cup Championship in Abuja and the NTTF National Championships in Lagos will be aiming to continue her dominance against Odusanya who is the only player to have beaten Bello in the team event of the National Championships.
Having put the disappointment of the National Championships behind them, Taiwo Mati of Ondo and Azeez Solanke of G20 will be aiming to avenge their final and semifinal lost to Rilwan Akanbi at the N1.2m prize money tournament sponsored by Renewed Hope, Lagos with technical support from the Lagos State Table Tennis Association (LSTTA).
Among the stars listed for the championships endorsed by NTTF include 2020 National Sports Festival Champion, Amadi Omeh of Ondo State as well as David Fayele of Lagos.
Also on the list of invited players is the 2021 World Table Tennis (WTT) Youth Star Contender silver medalist Usman Okanlawon as well as national cadet champions Samuel Boboye of Bayelsa and Hope Uduaka of Cross River.
According to the tournament prospectus, the invited players will go through three stages to emerge as champions as they are expected to be drawn into groups with the two top players advancing to the second stage.
The second stage will involve the eight qualifiers from the first stage who will be drawn into two groups in round-robin matches with two advancing to the semifinal stage.