Having churned out some of the country’s finest stars in the last 50 years,, the annual Asoju Oba Cup has become the bedrock of modern table tennis in Nigeria.
This was the view of the former Lagos State Commissioner for Sports, Wahid Oshodi who described the longest running table tennis in Africa has a breeding ground for world beaters.
“The Asoju Oba Cup is the bedrock and foundation of modern day table tennis in Nigeria considering the fact that a great majority of our top players over the last 50 years have honed their craft playing in this tournament.
“To win the Asoju Oba cup would be the crowning glory of any player and a stepping stone into the National teams. The National Coaches over the years themselves have all come through this tournament and they in turn use it as a hunting ground for young talent.
“One should also note that with the Asoju Oba Cup unlike other tournaments the prizes don’t end with the tournament but the late sponsor – Sir Chief Molade Okoya-Thomas continues to support the players education and careers. He along with Late Dr. Efunkoya and a very select few are the true fathers of table tennis in Nigeria,” Oshodi said.
The former President of the Nigeria Table Tennis Federation (NTTF), said the tournament has become table tennis Olympic Games in Lagos.
“This tournament was our Olympics in Lagos. It was a week-long jamboree. Different categories of players from veterans of yesteryears to the mini cadets all had a stake l. It was always something to look forward to and it was a festival of table tennis. For us on the technical side, it gave us a great chance to see how the players performed under the gaze of the large crowds that always came to watch. It was a test not only of skill but composure also which is very important for a top player. The sponsor gave massive financial support to the tournament and the players. It just made us so proud that such a tournament existed in our city. If we were sometimes doubtful about funding for our events this was not the case for the Asoju Oba Cup,” he added.