Sports: Aruna, Omotayo, others battle for $.6m at WTT tourneys

Nigeria’s Quadri Aruna and Olajide Omotayo will battle for $600,000 at the two World Table Tennis events taking place in Qatar between March 3 and 13.

The table tennis stars, who are the top-ranked Nigerian players, will join other global icons for the events at the Lusail Sports Arena in Doha.

According to the International Table Tennis Federation, the Middle East Hub will feature two tiers of the new WTT event structure with WTT Contender Doha kick-starting the tournament before players move onto the first WTT Star Contender event the following week, providing the perfect preparation for some of the world’s leading stars to be challenged by the best up-and-coming athletes in table tennis.

Aruna, who is the highest ranked African in the world – 21— will join Xu Xin (China, ranked 2), Tomokazu Harimoto (Japan, ranked 5), Hugo Calderano (Brazil, ranked 6) and Lin Yun-Ju (Chinese Taipei, WR 7).

Other elite players taking to the table include Mattias Falck (Sweden, ranked 8), Jang Woojin (Korea, ranked 11) and Dimitrij Ovtcharov (Germany, ranked 12) in the men’s draw.

However, Omotayo and compatriots Taiwo Mati and Nurudeen Hassan have been listed to compete in the qualifiers for WTT Contender Doha from February 28 to March 2, with successful players listed for the main event on March 3 to 6.

Omotayo is expected to fight for a place in the main event from the qualifiers, while Mati and Hassan are among the reserve players, after the list of players was finalised by the organisers.

Aruna will start his campaigns from the main event of both championships. Punch

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